Minutes of the April 17, 2004 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


Vice President Bolen called the meeting to order at 12:00. Chaplain Jim Washburn offered the invocation. The Bob Yarnell led the pledge to the flag and the vice president the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Joe Hill, Jack Bolen, Luke Lloyd, Rodney Stebbins, Scott Stebbins, Randy Stebbins, Alan Bell, Marty Miller, Jim Washburn, Dan Stutzman, Walter Lane, Bob Yarnell and Kevin Yarnell.


Welcome guests: June Bolen, Jeanne Lloyd, six cadets, two JROTC instructors, and seven other guests.


The vice president introduced the members and guests.


The SAR membership approved the minutes of the March meeting as published in the newsletter.


The secretary briefly reported on the status of presenting the JROTC medals to local high schools and asked for volunteers willing to do so.


The treasurer reported a current balance of $2,215.03.


Bob Yarnell reported on the status of our revised Good Citizenship award. Two elementary schools in Pasco County have agreed to participate.


On behalf of Dwight Tetrick, Jack Bolen read the registrar’s report detailing the status of our potential members.


There being no other business the meeting recessed for lunch.


Vice President Bolen called the meeting to order. He presented the SAR JROTC awards to the following outstanding cadets:

            John Szopa, Brandon High School

            Michael Wojtylak, Robinson High School

            Jason Jimenez, Chamberlain High School

            Justin Ropiza, Hillsborough High School

            Michael J. Hamilton, Ridgewood High School


Kevin Yarnell then took the floor and gave a brief presentation entitled, “The Great Document Challenge”.


He began with some introductory remarks for the benefit of the guests where in he gave some background of the SAR and the JROTC award.


Then the talk turned to an American history quiz that had been distributed as members and guests were arriving. The quiz was taken from one used to determine the ‘history IQ’ of students at some of the best universities.  According to that study, only 23 percent of seniors at 55 of American’s elite universities can identify James Madison as the Father of the Constitution. Over a third cannot identify the Constitution as the founding document of our government and nearly half do not know in which half-century our nation fought the Civil War.

            What does this mean for us and our country?

            Thomas Jefferson wrote that the study of history protects the people “as they are the ultimate guardians of their own liberty. History, by apprising them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future.”

            In other words, if future generations of Americans are not taught how their liberty came about, they will take it for granted. If they do not learn of the sacrifices that have preserved their liberty, they will be complacent in its defense. Knowledge of history is not an option if a free people are to cherish liberty and defend it with zeal.

            It is easy to criticize schools and legislatures for failing to require and teach American History effectively and we ought to take every opportunity to push for improvements. But we also need to look to ourselves. Scripture reminds us to first remove the “log” from our own eye before offering to remove the speck from our neighbor’s eye.

            Listed below are books, speeches, and historical documents that are used in Hillsdale College’s American Heritage course. While we are no doubt familiar with many of these, it is likely that we have not, in fact, actually read them and therefore may not have a full grasp of their content and significance.

            So this is the challenge: Let us each commit, over a period of time, to reading some or all of these works. The exercise will improve our own knowledge of American History and thus make us better guardians of our own liberty.

  • The Mayflower Compact
  • John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity”
  • William Penn, Frame of Government of Pennsylvania
  • Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography
  • John Locks, Second Treatise of Government
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution of the United States
  • The Federalist Papers
  • The Northwest Ordinance
  • George Washington, First Inaugural and Farewell Address
  • Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolution and First Inaugural
  • John Marshall, McCullough v. Maryland
  • Henry Clay, Address on Internal Improvements
  • Andrew Jackson, “The majority is to Govern”
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • W. Barrett Travis, Last Letter from the Alamo
  • Frederick Douglas, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
  • John C. Calhoun, Disquisition on Government
  • Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural
  • Andrew Carnegie, “Wealth”
  • William L. Riordan, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
  • Theodore Roosevelt, “The New Nationalism”
  • Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points Address
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, Commonwealth Club Address
  • The Atlantic Charter
  • Harry S. Truman, “The Truman Doctrine”
  • George Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”
  • Whittaker Chambers, “Letter to my Children” (from Witness)
  • John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham City Jail & “I have a dream” Address
  • Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural and Speech to the House of Commons


The information provided here was obtained from “Standing by American History”, a pamphlet published by Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan 49242, www.hillsdale.edu. The works sited are all used in their mandatory “American Heritage” course.


A brief discussion followed.


The 50/50 drawing was held and the treasury thus enriched by $10.00.


Vice President Bolen led the recessional and Chaplain Washburn benediction. The meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary