Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sue Pensinger Williams - DAR

My wife, Sue Pensinger Williams, has just this week received her membership certificate for the Daughters of the American Revolution. This organization is comprised of women who have a blood relative in the family that fought, or died, in the American Revolution.

Sue's great grandfather, five times removed, was Henry Pensinger. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Militia when the Revolution broke out. He traveled across 2 mountain ranges to fight at the 2nd Battle of Ticonderoga, in upstate New York. This was no easy task. Just getting there took months of humping everything they would need over the mountains. Think of it, cannon, ammunition, guns, horses and food, all had to be carried to the scene of battle. It was this fight in which Henry Pensinger was injured, incurred frostbite and lost his leg. Then he first had to go home, over those same two mountain ranges. That he would have been in great pain the entire way goes without saying.

The Daughters of the American Revolution have had some darker moments in their history, most notably when they denied Marian Anderson permission to sing in front of an integrated audience at Constitution Hall in 1939. President Roosevelts wife, Eleanor, herself a member of the DAR, actually resigned over this and on Easter Sunday, Marian Anderson did sing, on the steps of the new Lincoln Memorial.

Since that time, the mission of the DAR has largely been one as the caretaker of the nations monuments, providing scholarships, and keeping track of all the descendants of the veterans of the American Revolution. The best part of this is that as people have intermarried over the years, the face of the DAR has become multi-cultural. And now my daughter, Sarah, is a member as well. I wonder what Pincus Max Marcus, my grandfather, who arrived here from Poland in 1911, would think of that!

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