Sunday, January 5, 2014

The DAR - Why They Matter Today

One of the most misunderstood organizations in America today is the Daughters of the American Revolution. Most people think of the group in a very narrow frame of reference, usually the unfortunate incident in 1939 when Marion Anderson was denied the role of singing at Constitution Hall before an integrated audience.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged another concert on Easter Sunday at the Lincoln memorial, where she sang to a crowd of 75,000 people and millions more on radio. The DAR has long since renounced their mistake, and today the DAR is a rainbow coalition which represents the America we have become over the centuries since the Revolution.

Why is this important? To put it in its simplest form; as the demographic make-up of our country changes; through inter-marriage, adoptions, etc. the DAR strives to reflect that change while still retaining the integrity of those families who actually fought in the Revolution.

As the demographics change, many times the past gets lost in the jumble. The DAR is a way of stopping that loss. For instance, if you are of Chinese descent, and marry into an American family having roots going back to colonial times, your daughters are eligible to become members. The same holds true for the Sons of the Revolution. There is no color line anymore. It’s all in your family tree.

The point is this; though the DAR does not support any particular political party; through their work in preserving our nation’s heritage, they are the Keepers of our past. They are the ones who place the monuments and trace the history of our unique nation. It is largely through their efforts that so many of the monuments we all take for granted, are there in the first place.

But, the most important function of all performed by the DAR is the tracking of family histories in relation to the American Revolution. The ethnic make-up America of today is vastly different from Colonial times and the struggle for Independence. But the rainbow color of today’s DAR reflects the truth of the principles upon which we were founded. Even Marion Anderson would have to smile at that.

So, why am I so big on the DAR? Simple; both my wife Sue, and our daughter Sarah, are members. Sue's great grandfather; several times removed; was named Henry Pensinger and he fought at the Battle of Ticonderoga, loosing a leg in the process. You can look him up. He has a blog page at;

And if you, or anyone you know, is eligible to join the DAR, please use the following link to start the application process. No matter what your ethnic background or nationality may be, if the ancestors on either side of your family fought for the freedom which we enjoy today, then the DAR hopes to reflect that difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment