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Benjamin Prescott chapter members discuss voting history

From left are Brenda Johnson, Andrea Snyder, Cathy Snyder, Evelyn Aliberto, Elizabeth Sedlmayer.

WESTFIELD — The regular meeting of the Benjamin Prescott Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was held at Ottaway Park on Sept. 3 at 5:42 p.m. There were 19 members present. The opening ritual was led by Regent Brenda Johnson.

Johnson introduced three new members who were inducted into the chapter. Johnson and Chaplain Elizabeth Sedlmayer inducted Andrea Snyder, Cathy Snyder and Evelyn Aliberto into the Benjamin Prescott Chapter NSDAR. Each new member received a yellow rose and a welcoming packet.

The DAR President General’s Message was read by Sedlmayer. President General Denise Doring VanBuren stated how proud she was of the many members who continued to carry on the concepts of the DAR during the pandemic.

A special thank you was sent to the many Chapter Registrars and other genealogy experts who volunteer their time to find the required documentation to allow new members to join the DAR.

As September and October begin a new year, chapters are urged to find new service projects to work on and to share these projects with the public.

The DAR Defense Article was read by Deborah Langebartel. This article related the history of citizenship in the country. The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution was ratified on July 28, 1868, defining citizens and their rights.

However, it has taken many years for these rights to be realized. The 15th and 19th Amendments gave the power to vote to women and African Americans. But it was not until 1924 that Native Americans gained citizenship and the right to vote with the Indian Citizenship Act.

In 1940, Congress declared the third Sunday in May as “I am an American Day.” On Feb. 29, 1952, Congress changed the day to Sept. 17 and renamed it “Citizenship Day.” In 2004, the name was again changed to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”

Johnson stated the chapter was awarded the Bronze Level for subscriptions to the Daughters Magazine. Johnson also noted that Continental Congress of 2021 will be held from June 29 to July 5. Anyone wishing to ride the New York state bus would be staying until July 5. so members would be able to see the fireworks on the Fourth. in Washington, D.C. Johnson then mentioned the New York State Conference will be virtual this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The link to the conference will be forthcoming.

Johnson asked if there was interest in making Pioneer Cemetery in Fredonia, a chapter project. The stones are in need of repair and the chapter could work on restoring them. A committee was formed to research information on the project and to see what was involved. The committee members are Sedlmayer, Myra Johnston, and Linda Blodgett.

Members were reminded to log in their volunteer hours on the DAR National Website.

Heather Potter passed out Constitution Booklets to those individuals who did not receive one earlier in the year. Regent Johnson gave out pins to remind members to vote in this year’s election. Johnson also read some sayings brought in by Julina Harris.

The next regular meeting is planned for Thursday, Oct. 1 in Point Gratiot in Dunkirk. Members should bring a bagged lunch and hostesses will be Phyllis Noble and Myra Johnston. The meeting will begin at noon.

If you had an ancestor who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary War and would like to join us, please call Barbara Pietro at 716-392-1166 or email jbpietro@gmail.com.

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