The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (“DCSAR”), the District of Columbia Daughters of the American Revolution (“DCDAR”), the Children of the American Revolution (“C.A.R.”) and members of many other lineage and patriotic organizations gathered on the Fourth of July 2019 for our traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery.
C.A.R. led the way at 9:00 AM, laying a wreath at the grave of Revolutionary War drummer boy John Hunter. At 10:00 AM guest moved the short distance to the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry; to honor and remember not only Gerry himself, but all the other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Vice President Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C.
During the program, new members were inducted into DCSAR. Compatriots Inocencio Orta and Christopher Dartagnan Orta are both descendants of the Revolutionary War Patriot Joseph Ingraham. Inocenio is a former DC C.A.R. State President and Christopher is a former NS C.A.R. Newsletter Chairman.
The posthumous memorial inductee was William O. Ritchie Sr., (1926-2001) a business icon and community leader formerly of Beckley, WV. Mr. Ritchie was the former managing partner of the Ritchie and Johnson Funeral Parlor Inc., in Beckley. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Beckley Housing Authority where he was a proponent of ensuring equitable and affordable housing for deserving residents. The Lewis-Ritchie Apartments were co-named in his honor.
On February 27, 2014 he posthumously received the Certificate of Recognition for extraordinary service to the citizens of West Virginia in the battle for absolute equality and civil rights for all from the Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor of the State of West Virginia. Governor Tomblin stated “It is important to remember our past as we look toward our future. You… have made this country a better place to live and it is because of your efforts, and your service to the great State of West Virginia, that we enjoy the level of diversity we have today. It is on your shoulders that we stand. Your commitment and passion to the struggle for equality and justice will not be forgotten.” Mr. Ritchie’s great grandfather, Harvey A. Reynolds, was born into slavery on August 15, 1828.
On this day that we celebrate our nation’s independence, Mr. Ritchie’s induction will be the fourth generation of his family that has proven their bloodline to the Revolutionary War Patriot Lieutenant Isaac Rucker, a member of the Amherst County Virginia Militia. Other family are William Ritchie Jr (son) and Delante’ Joiner (great-grandson) both members of DCSAR, Arian Ritchie Joiner (granddaughter) member of DCDAR and Devin and Destiny Joiner (great-granddaughters) members of C.A.R. Delante’ accepted the certificate for his late great grandfather.