Press Releases 2020
The Embassy of France in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC will be the location of the
District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution 2020 Sweethearts and Patriots
Gala for the second consecutive year. The sixth annual Gala will occur on February 8, 2020 and
among the returning honorary host committee members are the Honorable Mike Gallagher,
Congressman representing Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District and Marine Corps
Veteran and the Honorable Michael Waltz, Congressman representing Florida’s 6th Congressional District and Army Veteran. The 2020 gala beneficiaries will be the Code of Support Foundation and Terre Fraternité.
The Code of Support Foundation was established in 2010 with the goal of bridging the growing
divide of understanding and engagement between our military and civilian communities. The
Foundation’s team of trained case coordinators and veteran peer navigators provide assistance
to struggling service members, veterans and their families (SMVF) as they transition into civilian
life and work to build America’s public awareness of the service and sacrifice of our military,
veterans and their families through its education and engagement program.
Terre Fraternité, an association under the 1901 statute created in 2005, aims to help support
the wounded, their loved ones, as well as the families of the dead in service of the French army.
This support is reflected in financial commitments (accommodation, assistance, etc.), aid
payments, and various supports resulting from donations collected or partnerships.
Sweethearts and Patriots began in 2014 as a way to bring together the DC community to benefit
organizations that support the military, veterans and their families. Since 2014, the annual gala
has been attended by 1,200 people and over $100,000 has been raised for six beneficiary
To learn more about the 2020 Sweethearts and Patriots Gala, or to purchase tickets for the
event, please visit: https://www.sweetheartsandpatriots.org
Press Releases 2019
DCSAR luncheon guest were treated to an excellent presentation by Robert Watson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University, about Alexander Hamilton’s relationship with George Washington and his role in the victory at Yorktown. His presentation covered the early life of Alexander Hamilton to his becoming an important advisor and confidant to General Washington. The October 26, 2019 Yorktown Luncheon was held at the prestigious Army and Navy Club in downtown Washington, DC., celebrating the 238th anniversary of the American Victory at Yorktown and the major contribution to its success by France and French Heroes of the Revolution.
Professor Watson is an award-winning author who has published 40 books and hundreds of scholarly articles and chapters on topics in history and politics as well as two multi-edition encyclopedia sets on the presidents and first ladies. His recent books include Affairs of State (2012), America’s First Crisis (2014)–winner of the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal in History, The Presidents’ Wives (2014)–which is in 2nd edition, The Nazi Titanic (2016)–which is being made into a motion picture, The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn (2017)–which won the John Barry Book Award and John Lyman Book Award and is the subject of a National Geographic TV special, and George Washington’s Final Battle, forthcoming in 2020. Several of his books are in international translation, have been nominated for book awards, and were featured on Book TV and at prominent literary festivals.
DCSAR Secretary Paul Hays inducted and presented membership certificates to two new members to DCSAR, Compatriot Mark Ferris Dempsey whose patriot was Jacob Moore of Delaware and Compatriot Shawn Franklin Moore whose patriot was Exum Scott of North Carolina. They were pinned with their member rosettes by DCSAR President Lane D. Brooks and their sponsor, DC Assistant Registrar Frederick C. Humphreys.
The program was chaired by Compatriot Peter Arrott Dixon.
2019 Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Dinner
Awarded the 2019 Sons of the American Revolution (“SAR”) Fire Safety Commendation and Medal, District of Columbia Fire/EMS Battalion Chiefs Queen Anunay and Kishia Clemencia were recognized during the Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Dinner on June 4, 2019. The District of Columbia Society SAR event was held at the prestigious University Club in the Nation’s Capital. The recently promoted Battalion Chiefs have been cited as pioneers having risen through the ranks in a historically male dominated department. They have become an inspiration in their leadership roles to other female firefighters and women in general.
Guests were also treated to a presentation by the Honorable Robert L. Livingston the former 11 term congressman from the State of Louisiana, who discussed his memoir “The Windmill Chaser”. Congressman Livingston gave his views on the current climate in Congress and ways it can be improved. He has earned multiple degrees from Tulane University and honors from other institutions of higher learning. He established the Livingston Group during 1999.
DCSAR President Lane Douglas Brooks presented a host of awards and commendations to members and guests during the dinner.
- Silver Good Citizenship Medal to Congressman Robert Livingston for his career of public service
- Eagle Scout Scholarship Award – Eagle Scout Daniel Bayliss
- Knight Essay Award – Shannon Elliott
Certificates of Appreciation announced at the 2018 SAR Congress
- Paul Hays for serving as Vice Chairman of the NSSAR Community Engagement Committee 2017-2018
- Carl Bedell for serving as Chairman of the NSSAR Operation Ancestor Search Committee 2017-2018
- David Boring for serving as Vice Chairman of the NSSAR Investment Committee 2017-2018
- David Boring for serving as Vice Chairman of the NSSAR Protocol Committee 2017-2018
DC Honor in Service Medal
- Ann Schaeffer – for support of the Junior ROTC clothing drive
- Fred Humphreys – for service as Assistant Registrar and as NSSAR new-member state point of contact
- James Pender – for service as Treasurer
- Tom Readmond – for program support and as member of Board of Management (“BOM”)
- Sean Redmond – for program support and as member of BOM
- Bill Ritchie – for service as 2nd VP and public information officer
- Ed Rodriguez, Jr. – for service as Sweethearts & Patriots fundraising chairman and on the BOM
- Charles Roe – for program support as member of BOM (+ four oak leaf clusters for his Service to Veterans Medal for multiples of 3,000 “USS Stark Award” points)
- Bethany Horyn – for service on Sweethearts & Patriots Steering Committee
- Charles Nalls – for service as Chaplain
- Rachel Norman – for service on Sweethearts & Patriots Steering Committee
- Bart Smith – for program support as member of BOM
DC Patriotic Service Medal
- Steve Cramner – for service as Assistant Secretary and on Operation Ancestor Search
- Colin Timbers – for service on Sweethearts & Patriots Steering Committee and BOM
- Randy Teague – for program support as member of BOM
- Steven Rodriguez – for service on Sweethearts & Patriots Steering Committee and BOM
Lydia Darragh Medal
- Catherine Timbers – for co-chairing Sweethearts & Patriots Gala
Martha Washington Medal
- Marcia Guzauskas – for support to DCSAR as DCDAR State Regent
Liberty Medal announced at the 2018 SAR Congress
- Fred Humphreys – for sponsoring 11 new members
- Carl Bedell – for sponsoring 10 new members
- Michael Rawlings – 1st oak leaf cluster, for sponsoring 23 new members
- Brock Bierman – 2nd oak leaf cluster, for sponsoring 30 new members
- John Sinks – 5th oak leaf cluster, for sponsoring 61 new members
- Paul Hays – 11th oak leaf cluster, for having sponsored 122 new members
Silver Good Citizenship Medal
- Cindy Hays – for decades of community service, promotion of international democratic institutions, & support of hereditary societies
Silver Roger Sherman Medal
- Jadan Horyn – for co-chairing Sweethearts and Patriots & BOM service
- Larry Miller – for over a decade as Registrar, and as Vice President
State Meritorious Service Medal
- Dick Patten – for service as Vice President, President, National Trustee and Potowmack Ball Chairman
Chapter Medal of Distinguished Service – given only by the President, only once a year, to a truly outstanding Compatriot only once in his lifetime
- John Sinks – who’s received just about every medal there is to give, including last year the Minuteman Award. He received the State Medal of Distinguished Service from Virginia in 2004 from VA SAR, so we may not give it to him again, but he’s never been given the Chapter Distinguished Service Medal. So, since we’re both a State and a Chapter, we choose John Sinks as the 2019 DC SAR recipient of the Chapter Medal of Distinguished Service.
DCSAR Secretary Paul Hays gave the oath to new members Kent Charles Boese, Tyler Robert Crowe, and Charles Mehdi Malekzandi who were inducted during the dinner.
DCSAR Officers were installed by C. Louis Raborg, NSSAR Vice President General.
William O. Ritchie Jr. PhD
Public Information Officer
June 7, 2019
Knight Essay Contest Awardee
Ms. Shannon Elliott captivated the audience who were in attendance at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC on July 4, 2019 with her essay about one of the forces/motivations behind the American Revolution; taxation without representation. Entitled “Taxation without Representation: History Repeated“, Ms. Elliott, standing alongside the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry, the only signer of the Declaration of Independence buried in the Nation’s Capital, compared this wrongdoing to the current taxation without representation of District of Columbia residents.
The George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest is open to any student in grades 9-12 in any public, parochial, private or home school within Washington DC. The student must write and submit an original researched and proven paper. The topic of the essay shall deal with an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Ms. Elliott received a $1000 prize as the 2019 contest winner from DCSAR President Lane D. Brooks alongside her mother, Ms. Sheila McCree.
Shannon Elliott is a long-standing District of Columbia resident. She recently graduated from McKinley Technology High School on a NAF certified Informational Technology Computer Science track and will be attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in this fall majoring in civil engineering. A growing number of top national and global companies have committed to NAFTrack Certified Hiring, a promise to give special consideration to college students and eventual job applicants who, as high school graduates, earned NAFTrack Certification.
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 (“CAR”) 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.
CAR 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 DCCAR State President and Christopher is a former NSCAR 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 CAR. Delante’ accepted the certificate for his late great grandfather.
Annual George Washington Birthday Luncheon
“The Indispensable Plan”
George Washington and Pierre L’Enfant plan the New Capital City
Artist Peter Waddell discussed his discoveries about the early history of the Washington’s Federal District while creating two large birds’ eye views of the city. Through his artistry, luncheon guest observed what Pierre L’Enfant saw as he viewed it the first time, and then saw it as it was in 1825. New Zealand born, Peter Waddell, came to the United States in 1992 enamored with America and its history. His paintings are hung in the White House, U.S. Capitol, Mt Vernon, Tudor Place, Octagon House and many galleries. And his historic scenes now adorn historic fire and police call boxes around the National Cathedral and Kalorama neighborhoods. He is artist in residence at Tudor Place.
Mr. Waddell’s artistic presentation highlighted the 287th Birthday Celebration of George Washington held at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in historical Old Town Alexandria, Virginia on February 16, 2019. The event was hosted by the District of Columbia Daughters of the American Revolution (“DCDAR”) in cooperation with the District of Columbia Sons of the American Revolution (“DCSAR”) and the District of Columbia Children of the American Revolution (“DCCAR”). The Chairman of the event was Cindy S. Hays, State Vice Regent DCDAR. Guests were welcomed by Marcia Guzauskas, State Regent DCDAR.
January 28, 2019
The St. John’s College High School, a prestigious Catholic parochial school in Northwest Washington, DC was the first school to sign-up to utilize the America’s Founding Documents curriculum for its sophomore and junior classes of the JROTC cadet students. Today, JROTC Cadets were presented certificates for successfully completing the study by DCSSAR President Lane Douglas Brooks during a ceremony at the school.
Left to right: James Holt, Andrew Simmons, Thomas Cohen, Justin Fitzgerald, Lane Brooks, Joshua Tan, Daniel Cohen, Jacob Patterson
Phillip Riazi, Christian Phillips, Alexander Brown, Lane Brooks, Sydney Antonucci, David Power, Andrew Timmer, Ryan Eisel, Nicholas Manthei
America’s Founding Documents is a 20-session fully developed course which addresses the four key documents that established the United States of America: The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Constitution of the United States of America. The principles expressed in these documents created a government unlike any which had existed before. Our government is structured to recognize and protect our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our government institutions have structured safeguards to limit their operations to accord with the consent of the governed. The freedoms these documents brought to life and wove into the fabric of our government have allowed America to grow, prosper, and become a world leader.
The Sons of the American Revolution is pleased to present this course to the nation’s schools. The workbook includes the unabridged text of America’s Founding Documents and the first inaugural addresses of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It traces America’s history from the early colonies to the early 1800’s. It further examines our nation’s deep historical roots in ancient Greece, the Roman Republic, The Magna Carta, the Glorious Revolution in England, and the English Bill of rights.
Press Releases 2018
2018 DCSSAR Holiday Dinner, December 5, 2018
“In a brutally frank account of CIA traitor Aldrich Ames’s career, Grimes and Vertefeuille’s account pulls back the curtain on the hunt for an American who spent years working for the KGB without being discovered. Espionage buffs will love the details taken from previously-classified CIA files, as well as a penetrating view of him as an “all-American boy’ and spy. Well researched and written in a clear, no-frills style, this fascinating Cold War saga will allow any American without a security clearance to better understand how Aldrich Ames could have become one of the most damaging moles in U.S. intelligence history.” — Publishers Weekly
Our guest speaker at the District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution 2018 Holiday Dinner, held at the Capitol Hill Club on December 5th , was author Sandra Grimes. Grimes, a twenty-six year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Services, spent the majority of her career working against the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. She joined the CIA in July 1967 after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Russian. Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille co-authored the book, “Circle of Treason, A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrick Ames and the Men he Betrayed”. Vertefeuille, a career CIA Counter Intelligence officer, led the small task force that resulted in the 1994 arrest of Soviet mole Ames.
Our guests, who dined on Crab Cakes and Petite Filet Steak, were captivated by Grimes’ very detailed and unclassified account of the CIA investigative effort to uncover a mole, secure his arrest and conviction while mitigating the damage to the intelligence service. Ames, who is now serving a life sentence, was described as one of the two most dangerous spies in the recent history of the CIA.
Sandra Grimes receives commendation from DCSAR President Lane Brooks
During the dinner, five new members were introduced and administered the oath by DC SAR Secretary Paul Hays. The new members are Robert Hattan, Tyler Harned, James Bailey, Bill Martin, and Chuck Piercy.
2018 DCSSAR Public Safety Awards Announced May 4, 2018
Officer Euri Hernandez received the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Award during the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department awards program on March 27, 2018 that was held at the THEARC in southeast Washington, DC.
Briefly, on June 1, 2017, Officer Hernandez and his partner received a call for service at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital for a combative patient who was armed with a large make shift weapon. When they confronted the patient they found him extremely agitated and demanded that the officers shoot him. In law enforcement parlance this is considered an attempted suicide by cop. Officer Hernandez was trained in the sort of crisis intervention required to abate the situation with the use of little or no force. The officer successfully calmed the patient down and he self-disarmed. Through his patience and persistent efforts, the officer successfully deescalated the situation without any harm to the patient, hospital staff and other police officers. The below photo includes Officer Hernandez and Chief of Police Peter Newsham.
DC Firefighter/EMS Jeffrey Beach received the SAR Emergency Medical Services Award during the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Management Services awards program on April 27, 2018 that was held on the campus of Gallaudet University.
Briefly while off duty and in his personal vehicle, EMS Beach witnessed a motor vehicle accident on MLK Highway and Lottsford Vista Road in Lanham Maryland that occurred during the late evening hours on May 9, 2017. He stopped to render aid at which time he found Brittany Crowell trapped inside her overturned vehicle. EMS Beach gained access to Miss Crowell by using a pocket knife and his bare hands to cut through the windshield. He found that the victim’s arm had been amputated at the elbow. Relying on his EMS training, he used his belt and applied it as a tourniquet. Upon the arrival of paramedics, the victim was cut from the vehicle and flown to a local trauma center by the Maryland State Police Medivac helicopter. EMS Beach was credited with saving the life of Ms. Crowell and ultimately saving her arm. The attached photo includes EMS Beach, Ms. Crowell and FEMS Chief Gregory Dean.
Firefighter Deangelo Bunch received the SAR Fire Safety Commendation Award. On September 1, 2017 while assigned to Engine 23, responded to the Foggy Bottom Metro Station for an unconscious person. While he and other members of Engine 23 were tending to the unconscious person, they observed another person who appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance on the platform. The person apparently lost his balance and fell from the platform, tumbling into the track bed landing on a running rail.
Firefighter Bunch and another firefighter ran towards opposite ends of the platform to engage the emergency shut off button to kill the third rail power. Simultaneously, the platform warning lights began to flash signaling the approach of an oncoming train. Firefighter Bunch and another member of the team disregarded their personal safety and put themselves in extreme personal risk by leaping down on the track bed and removing the unconscious to the platform before the oncoming train arrived. The aforementioned action resulted in the saving of a life that was in eminent danger. Both firefighters also received the FEMS Class 1 Bronze Bar for Valor.
William O. Ritchie Jr
Public Information Officer
Press Releases 2017
December 6, 2017
The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (“DCSSAR”) will award the Honor in Service Cross to The Honorable Michael Thomas McCaul Sr., during its annual Holiday Dinner on December 6, 2017 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC.
The Latin phrase honor in officio which appears at the center of the Honor in Service Cross medal, expresses esteem for those who perform acts of benefit beyond themselves. DCSSAR awards its Honor in Service Cross for outstanding and patriotic service of local and national importance. The medal is awarded to both members and nonmembers, for service to the community in civil or military arenas, religion, education, philanthropy, business, professions and other fields of endeavor.
Congressman McCaul is currently serving his seventh term representing Texas’ 10th District in the United States Congress. On January 3, 2013, the beginning of the 113th Congress, Congressman McCaul became Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The Committee has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) ensuring it is able to carry out its core mission of protecting the American people from terrorist attacks. As Chairman, McCaul prioritizes the threat of international and domestic terrorism, cyber security, airport security and fixing dysfunctional management within DHS which contributes to wasted taxpayer dollars, delayed security operations and corruption. Chairman McCaul also prioritizes border security and elevates this as a national security issue.
Prior to Congress, Michael McCaul served as Chief of Counter Terrorism and National Security in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Western District of Texas, and led the Joint Terrorism Task Force charged with detecting, deterring and preventing terrorist activity. McCaul also served as Texas Deputy Attorney General under current U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and served as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C.
Congressman McCaul and his wife Linda are the proud parents of five children: Caroline, Jewell, and triplets Lauren, Michael Jr., and Avery.
In addition to receiving the Honor in Service Cross, Congresman McCaul will be inducted into the DCSSAR. He is the 4th great grandson of Revolution War Patriot Lieutenant William Addington.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if further information is required.
November 17, 2017
The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution announces the 40th Annual 2017 Potowmack Ball and Presentation of Debutantes, honoring the Children of the American Revolution on Saturday, November 25, 2017. The Ball will be held at The Sphinx Club at Franklin Square, 1315 K Street Northwest, Washington, DC. The receiving line for the white tie preferred event commences at 6:00 P.M., with dinner immediately following.
As young ladies from the Greater Washington DC area and beyond make their debut into society, the grand ballroom is illuminated by their elegance and grace. The event offers an opportunity to meet and mingle with many hereditary organization officers and members. It is a unique, fun-filled evening of dinner, dancing and debutantes. Young ladies who are part of the Children of the American Revolution between the age of 17 to 22 (or a senior in high school) were welcomed to participate as a debutante. Young gentlemen members will serve as escorts.
Photo opportunities will be available. Inquiries and RSVP at PIO@dcssar.org
Please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DCSSAR
July 1, 2017
The District of Columbia Society Sons of the American Revolution (DCSSAR) will present United States Capitol Police (USCP) special agents with its Law Enforcement Commendation Medal during its traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery on July 4th. Two USCP officers were injured during a shooting while on a protective detail for a member of Congress at a ball field in Alexandria, Va. They immediately responded by putting themselves in harm’s way in an effort to protect the members while taking on a gunman.
Rep. Steve Scalise, Congressman from the State of Louisiana, was gravely wounded in the shooting and was admitted in critical condition at Washington Medstar Hospital Center. The Congressman is recovering from his life-threatening injuries. Special Agent Crystal Griner and Special Agent David Bailey, who are on Scalise’s security detail, are recovering from injuries sustained during the incident.
The officers are being widely hailed as heroes. The President of the United States stated “Crystal is one of the two Capitol Police officers who saved so many lives through her heroism, along with Special Agent David Bailey. They ran right into the fire,” President Donald Trump said. “They ran right into those guns and the bullets, and they saved a lot of lives. America salutes both of their courage. They have great, great courage.”
The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) provides recognition for public service. The state-level societies and chapters of the SAR present thousands of awards each year to law enforcement officers, public safety officers, and other citizens who exemplify the best civic traditions of our nation.
The 10:00 a.m. ceremony will be held at the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry to honor him and other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. Congressional Cemetery is located at 18th and E Streets, SE. DCSSAR and members of other lineage and patriotic organizations will attend this ceremony that is open to the public.
The Special Agents will not discuss the incident or answer any questions as it is the subject of an active, ongoing Federal law enforcement investigation.
William Ritchie can be contacted at 301-661-2047 or PIO@ DCSSAR.org to answer any questions.
DC SAR Announces Appointment of William O. Ritchie as Public Information Officer
12 June 2017
Former D.C. Chief of Detectives William O. Ritchie Jr. has been named Public Information Officer of the District of Columbia Sons of the American Revolution (DCSSAR). The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is the largest male lineage organization in the U.S., consisting of 50 state-level societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies (including Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), and over 34,000 members.
The Society’s missions are patriotic, historical, and educational: to unite and promote fellowship among the descendants of those who sacrificed to achieve the independence of the American people; to inspire them and the community-at-large to a more profound reverence for the principles of the government established by our forefathers; to foster true patriotism; and to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom.
Ritchie, a graduate of Howard University, served with the Metropolitan Police Department for more than 23 years in positions including Chief of Detectives and as the Commanding Officer of both the Homicide and Public Integrity Branches. He was inducted into the SAR on July 4, 2016, after successfully documenting his lineage to his 5th great grandfather, Patriot William Parks, who was killed in defense of the republic in May 1776. Ritchie notes that while this ancestor was of European descent, many other African Americans are descendants of free black men who chose to fight on the American side in the Revolutionary War.
Over the years, Ritchie has been called upon by various local and national news organizations to provide expert commentary on a range of current events. Ritchie will have the responsibility of informing the media of DCSSAR events, initiatives and programs.
The DCSSAR hosts a variety of activities aimed at building appreciation of America’s Revolutionary heritage, particularly among young people. For example, on the morning of July 4 this year, DCSSAR and members of other lineage, patriotic, service and fraternal organizations will gather for a traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery. This will include the laying of a wreath at the grave of Revolutionary War drummer boy John Hunter at 9:30 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., a ceremony will be held at the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry to honor him and other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. Congressional Cemetery is located at 18th and E Streets, SE.
For more information, contact William Ritchie at 202-280-7694 or PIO@dcssar.org.