By Neena Strichart
I am a proud member of the Susan B. Anthony Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. I have been a card-carrying member since 1975. In order to become a member I had to prove through genealogy research that I indeed have an ancestor who fought or gave service during the American Revolution– yes, on OUR side. Because my mother had been a member since the ‘60s, it was easy for me to just do a bit of a short form to become an official member.
Last weekend our chapter had a rather special meeting– an annual event where we recognize the local fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who participated in our National Society’s American History Essay Contest last year. (At the same time, we also invite the high-school students who were nominated by local schools for our DAR Good Citizen Award and Scholarship, but more about that next week.)
During the meeting, we had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with three of the four winners of the American History Essay Contest chosen by our chapter– all from St. Maria Goretti School: Sara Montoya (fifth grade), Robert Sanchez (sixth grade), and Ricardo Contreras (seventh grade). Adam Garcia, the eighth-grade winner, was unable to attend. Their task was to write a 500-word essay based on the following topic: In celebration of the 275th anniversary of the birth of Paul Revere, pretend you are Paul Revere writing your memoirs. Relate various accomplishments for which you wish to be remembered in the annals of American history.
It was so heart-warming to hear Sara, Robert and Ricardo read their essays. I know that the members, teachers, parents and guests all learned something new about Paul Revere. I know I did! In school I was taught that Revere shouted “The British are coming,” but, according to our young essayists, the quote was actually “The regulars are coming.”
I have asked the youngsters to send me copies of their essays and will run them as I receive them– space permitting.