Tampa Chapter - December 2018



          Meeting Announcements

                    Wreaths Across America

Color Guard Opportunities

          Other Dates of Interest

          SAR Post Card

Chapter Facebook Page

          Misc. Reminders


November Meeting

Last month, we held our annual Public Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon.  The following public servants and first responders were recognized –

Law Enforcement Commendation Medal

          Trooper Jeremy Fields, Florida Highway Patrol

          Detective Aaron Dahl, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Emergency Medical Services Commendation Medal

          Rescue Captain Jeff McAleese, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue


December Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, will be held on Saturday, December 15, at American Legion Post #5 on Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.  There are more details below.  After the WAA Ceremony, the members present will hold a brief meeting to elect officers for 2010.  Nominees are:

          President                          John Goolby

          Vice President                   David Bryant

          Recording Secretary         James Handley

          Membership Secretary      Jason Krajuyak

          Treasurer                         Paul Ergler

          Chancellor                         Charles Klug

          Chaplain                            John Sessums

          Historian                          Bob Yarnell

          Registrar                          OPEN

          Sergeant-At-Arms            OPEN

          Board Members-At-Large  Terry Doan

                                                   Dick Young


As you can see, we have two open positions in need of a volunteer to step up and assume these roles.  Those who are interested, contact VP David Bryant.

January meeting

The annual installation of officers will be held at the Rusty Pelican restaurant on Rocky Point on January 5.  This year we are having a buffet with your choice of Chicken Marsala or Fettucine Pasta Primavera.  It is not necessary to make your choice of entrée with your reservation, as in the past, but it is necessary to make your reservation and payment.  Please mail your check for $25/person, payable to “Tampa Chapter SAR” to:

                                      Paul Ergler, Treasurer

                                      503 Surrey Lane

                                      Lutz, FL  33549


American Revolution Notes:

This space is taking a break for December and January. American revolution notes will return with the February newsletter.


Wreaths Across America

The Tampa Chapter will once again sponsor the Wreaths Across America at the American Legion Post #5 Veterans Cemetery at 3810 W Kennedy Blvd. The formal ceremony is on Saturday, December 15, and will constitute our December Meeting.  Our Chapter Color Guard will, once again, present the Colors at this Ceremony.  The C.A.R. has been invited to join us.  The Ceremony starts at 12:00, but you should be there by 11:30.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.  Being the family.  You need not be in uniform. 



In lieu of our Revolutionary Notes from Bob Yarnell, I have included the story of Wreaths Across America.  It is excerpted, without, edit except for the removal of pictures and related captions, from their website.  

Our Story – Wreaths Across America

One man's annual tribute to our veterans inspired a legion of volunteers and gave rise to the Wreaths Across America of today


Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12 year old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him. This experience followed him throughout his life and successful career, reminding him that his good fortune was due, in large part, to the values of this nation and the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s veterans. With the aid of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year.


As plans were underway, a number of other individuals and organizations stepped up to help. James Prout, owner of local trucking company Blue Bird Ranch, Inc., generously provided transportation all the way to Virginia. Volunteers from the local American Legion and VFW Posts gathered with members of the community to decorate each wreath with traditional red, hand-tied bows. Members of the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. helped to organize the wreath-laying, which included a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes. 


“The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet.”


Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Worcester began sending seven wreaths to every state, one for each branch of the military, and for POW/MIAs. In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and other civic organizations, simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies were held at over 150 locations around the country. The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as escort for the wreaths going to Arlington. This began the annual “Veterans Honor Parade” that travels the east coast in early December.


The annual trip to Arlington and the groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event grew each year until it became clear the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington, and bigger than this one company.  In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and other groups and individuals who had helped with their annual veterans wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit 501-(c)(3) organization, to continue and expand this effort, and support other groups around the country who wanted to do the same. The mission of the group is simple:


“The annual trip to Arlington and the groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event grew each year until it became clear the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington, and bigger than this one company.”


In 2008, over 300 locations held wreath-laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated. And that year, December 13, 2008 was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America Day”.

In 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as well as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites if the September 11 tragedies. This was accomplished with help from 2,047 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands. The organization's goal of covering Arlington National Cemetery was met in 2014 with the placement of 226,525 wreaths.


The wreath-laying is still held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December. WAA's annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery has become known as the world’s largest veterans’ parade, stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and communities all along the way to remind people how important it is to remember, honor and teach.


Wreaths Across America also conducts several programs to honor our veterans, including the popular “Thanks a Million” campaign which distributes cards to people all over the country to give veterans a simple “thank you” for their service. WAA participates in veterans’ events throughout the year, and has a veteran liaison on staff to work with local veterans organizations.  WAA is committed to teaching younger generations about the value of their freedoms, and the importance of honoring those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms. The organization offers learning tools, interactive media projects, and opportunities for youth groups to participate in the events. They also work to create opportunities to connect “the Greatest Generation” with the “Generation of Hope”, passing on inspirational stories from World War II veterans to the leaders of the future.


Wreaths Across America would not be successful without the help of volunteers, active organizations and the generosity of the trucking industry, which offer invaluable support to WAA's mission to remember the men and women who served our country, honor our military and their families, and teach our children about our freedom and those who protect it. There are many ways you can help—learn more about how you can get involved.


Color Guard Opportunities

·         December 15 - Wreaths Across America (see details above)

·         March 9 – Commemoration of Last Naval Battle on Merritt Island (this is a National SAR Event)

·         March 30 – Commemoration of the Battle of Thomas Creek in Jacksonville

·         May 7 - Honor Flight Mission #37 at Clearwater/St Petersburg Airport

·         June 11 – Honor Flight Mission #38 at Clearwater/St Petersburg Airport


Other Dates of Interest

Feb  2                             Florida SAR Winter BOM & Rumbaugh Oration Contest

Feb 22                            George Washington’s Birthday

Apr 13                            Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday

May 10-11                        Florida SAR Spring BOM & Annual Meeting


SAR Post Card

A couple members have asked about a post card from SAR, with a Dallas return address, asking to call and update/confirm your membership information.

Florida SAR President, Pat Niemann, has been contacted.  He is not aware of any effort by the SAR to update or confirm membership information.  This is always taken care of thru the annual dues renewal process and the Chapter and State Annual Reports. 



From the President - The new face book page for the Tampa Sons of the American Revolution is Tampa Sar. The password to add anything is American1776.

Please feel free to upload pictures or comments.  Invite all your friends to look.

Miscellaneous Reminders

Chapter Website—remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.   http://www.tampasar.org/


One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick. Another is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be the recipient of these cards please mention it to Chaplain Sessums or one of the other officers at our next meeting.


Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the editor.