Major George Gibson NSDAR holds monthly meeting

The Major George Gibson Chapter NSDAR met Nov. 17 at the Flatwoods United Methodist Church in Jonesville, Virginia. Members present were Regent Nancy Britton, Charlotte Brooks, Andrea Cheak, Sharon Harrell, Judy Hounshell, Rebecca Jones, Linda Lawson, Agnes Marcum, Myra Richardson, Rebecca Royal, Augusta Sinon, Mary Sprinkle and Manerva Watson. Also present was prospective member Susan Parker.

Regent Nancy Britton called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. The opening exercises included the DAR Ritual and recitation of the Pledge to the Flag, The American’s Creed, and the Preamble to the Constitution. Members joined also in singing The National Anthem. The Flag Quote was “We have but one flag, the American Flag.” — Theodore Roosevelt.

Chaplain Manerva Watson began devotion with a prayer for Veterans Day followed by a story about the importance of having a positive attitude and being thankful. The scripture was Genesis 1:31. She asked that members remember to have a good Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas. The devotion ended with a blessing for the refreshments provided by Hostess Linda Lawson.

Hostess Lawson gave the American Heritage Minute by showing a pin that had belonged to her mother. Andrea Cheak read several items from the NSDAR President General’s Message including the DAR Christmas Open House at Continental Hall in Washington, D.C.

Regent Britton provided the National Defense and Veteran Minutes. She thanked the members who gave their support to Veterans Day programs, stating that Veterans Day was a day to honor those willing to give their lives and service to their country. December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day.

Agnes Marcum’s Flag Minute included several flag facts. There are currently six American flags on the moon. Our flag is properly folded 13 times, the number of original colonies. The flag colors are red for bravery, white for purity, and blue for justice. In 1912, a strict guideline was established for creation of the American flag. Our present flag was designed by an 18-year-old student, Robert Hall, and chosen by Congress.

When the flag is unfit for display, it should be disposed of properly and with dignity, usually by burning. The stars and stripes are cut apart before disposal which makes it no longer a flag. Rebecca Royal told of a recent Cub and Boy Scout flag burning ceremony with burial of the ashes.

For her Indian Minute, Marcum read that the Native American Pow Wow has become a symbol of renewal for many tribes. Europeans initially misunderstood the name of the dancer, pauwau, as the name of the ceremony. In the early 1800s, Pawnees used this gathering as a religious ceremony; other tribes like the Omaha changed it to a warrior ceremony.

By the 1880’s, Plains tribes used the powwow to bring their enemies together in peace, build friendships, and celebrate shared traditions. During the 1960s and 1970s, powwows grew in popularity with dance styles and costumes evolving while drawing on the traditions and symbols of the many tribes.

Marcum also provided the DAR School Minute, stating that the holiday season is a time to remember the special children at the six DAR schools. For many, DAR members are their only family. Donations of gifts, cards, special outings and gift cards were recommended.

The Conservation Minute was a reminder that backyard bird feeding makes a real contribution to bird survival and can help them thrive. Keep fresh water near the feeders. The Sunshine Minute included member birthdays and medical updates.

Under the Women’s Issues Minute, Regent Britton stated that December is “Hi, Neighbor” Month, Cervical Health Awareness Month, and National Birth Defects Month. Persons with Disabilities Day is December 3rd. Strength and balance exercises are recommended to improve mental status.

Members were warned of increased scams during the holidays and advised to research donation “dos and don’ts.” Local donations were recommended to fire departments, EMTs, police, and churches for their service to our communities.

Regent Britton also read a list of “Thanksgiving Truths.” Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle. Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first meal after walking on the moon was foil packets of roasted turkey. The heaviest turkey on record weighed 86 pounds. Female turkeys don’t gobble. The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 15 pounds. Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when scared.

Britton read a gratitude quote by A. W. Tozer: “Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and not be poorer but richer for having made it.”

During the business portion of the meeting, the secretary and treasurer reports were approved, and the officer nominating committee provided an update on the next slate of chapter officers. The Thomas Walker High School has selected a student for the Good Citizen Award, and the person nominated for the Community Service Award has accepted. These awards are scheduled for presentation in January.

The chapter has decorated a patriotic Christmas tree at Karlan Mansion. It and others can be seen at the Wilderness Road State Park’s Christmasfest. The group’s donation been sent to Wreaths Across America and additional items collected for Veterans Christmas Bags.

The program on “Native American Heritage Month” was postponed in the interest of time so that members could participate in a Christmas tree craft project led by Marcum, Harrell and Richardson. The “trees” were made by fastening 15 mason jar rings together and adding ornaments or other decorations. Examples of these “trees” can be found online.

The next chapter event will be the Christmas Tea on Dec. 8 hosted by Marcum, Harrell, Richardson and Fay Ramsey. The theme is “Christmas Music.” Members are asked to take a Christmas CD for the gift swap.