DCSAR held its annual Holiday Dinner at The Capitol Hill Club located at 300 First Street SE, Washington, DC on December 9, 2021, welcoming more than 75 guests at the black-tie event. During the cocktail reception guests were treated to a range of musical selections by Compatriot Donald Francisco, the Resident Fifer at Mount Vernon, who also performed our national anthem as the audience accompanied.
After DCSAR President Joel Hinzman gave the welcoming followed by the invocation by Rev. Dr. John Stonesifer, DCSAR Chaplain, guests dined on Roast Pear Salad, Herb Chicken – Pork duo, Noel log, and table wine.
The dinner host, past DCSAR President Brock Bierman, introduced the guest speaker for the evening Col. Robert J. Dalessandro (Ret. US Army), Acting Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission and Director of the United States Army Center of Military History at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. Secretary Dalessandro is an American historian and author who has written and presented extensively on the American Expeditionary Forces contributions to the First World War.
Secretary Dalessandro frequently leads battlefield tours to sites in the United States, France, and Italy. He is widely published on the lifeways and material culture of the American Soldier in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. He is co-author of the Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917–1923, he serves as editor of the Army Officer’s Guide, co-author of Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War, and Contributions of African American Soldiers and the American Lions: the 332nd Infantry Regiment in Italy in World War I.
His book, Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Forces, received the Army Historical Foundation award for excellence in writing.
Col. Alessandro discussed the work of the American Battle Monuments Commission (“ABMC”). The Commission was established by Congress in 1923 and is an agency of the executive branch of the federal government. ABMC is the guardian of America’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials that honors the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces. Their purpose is to commemorate the U.S. armed forces by maintaining the national legacy of their service in the world's consciousness.
ABMC’s vision is to increase the public's awareness of their commemorative sites and services, increasing ABMC's commemorative coverage, and more effectively preserving the commemorative sites to ABMC's exceptional standard. The ABMC honors the service of the armed forces by creating and maintaining memorial sites, offering commemorative services, and facilitating the education of their legacy to future generations.
DCSAR Secretary Paul Hays administered the oath to new compatriots Thomas Redrick Miller Maddux and Patrick Thomas O’Malley. Thomas lives in Alexandria, VA. He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is a 6th great grandson of Thomas Price, who served as a Captain of the North Carolina Militia under Colonels John Sevier and Moses Shelby, fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain and died at the Siege of Augusta in 1781.
Patrick is a native of and practicing attorney in Washington, DC who lives in Baltimore. He’s a 5th great grandson of Benjamin Dix, who served as a Private and Corporal in the Connecticut Line.