Sons of the American Revolution, Ohio Society Activities

When in the Course of Human Events….

These stirring words read aloud to Liberty Camp Kids in the same manner that our forebears may have heard them for the first time!

The Hocking Valley Chapter (HVC) SAR Color Guard participated in the 2nd Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence on Saturday, July 4th in Logan, Ohio. Pictured are Chapter members, L to R: Matt Hardman, prospective member Jim Hiles, Bob Hill, Bob Davis, and Al Gummere.  The event was sponsored by the Hocking Hills Liberty Camp for Kids and organized by Director Denise Whalen.  Prayer was given by Chaplain Matt Hardman.  The HVC posted and retrieved the National Colors and fired a three-volley musket salute.

Liberty Camp

L to R: Matt Hardman, prospective member Jim Hiles, Bob Hill, Bob Davis, and Al Gummere.

Members also assisted in the program.  Bob Hill and Jim Hiles each read a third of the Declaration of Independence, with the assistance of Ed Zell.  Jim and Bob also read the names of all the signers and their respective states.  Matt’s wife, Sharon, sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.  The program also included a short documentary on the creation of the National Anthem, audience recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, a ringing of the Liberty Bell, and a fine reading on the fate of the signers by Liberty Camp Board member Brian Mason, who suffered injuries in a car accident earlier in the week.  It was a very hot day, but when the ceremony began at 7:00 PM, the heat began to dissipate.  The audience was very appreciative of the program presented.

Impromptu Parades?

Mahoning Valley Color Guard Members and Several  Old Friends….

Since the official Poland 4th of July parade was cancelled this year a group of Friends from Poland, New Middletown, Canfield, Boardman and Austintown decided to hold their own impromptu parade on the morning of the 4th.  The event began at the Poland library and ending at Peterson Park at the corner of Rt. 170 and Rt. 224.  In attendance were Patty Zedaker, Melanie Opre, Jan Braham, Marlene Morris, Jay Morris, John Opre, Dusty Zedaker, Hugh Braham, Tony Galizia, Justin McLemore and Jim Alexander . Taking the picture was Angelo Ciavarella . 


Sometimes You Really Have to Search to Find a Parade!

And that was the case for the Ohio Society SAR President on this Fourth of July!

Most, if not all, of the local Community Parades in and around Cincinnati had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Many members of our Chapters and Ohio Society have been left with the task making this very special day for all Americans a memorable one.  In contrast to the larger cancelled events, An announcement in our neighborhood Facebook page mentioned that the Beechwood Farms Neighborhood Independence Day Parade would go on as tradition demanded.  This opportunity was too good to pass up!

The Parade kicked off at 9 AM with the boys of Union Township Fire Department Leading the way… 4 July 1

They were followed by every youngster in the neighborhood on their highly decorated bicycles, tricycle, scooters, electric cars and of course, on foot!  The beauty of it all was the passion experienced not just because the kids were marching—but they were learning!  Their parents were encouraging their lesson in our National Heritage.

4 July 24 July 4With each new generation, the discovery of who we are begins anew in the minds of our youngest citizens—it is a lifelong experience.  Learning of our past and how it informs our future and the truth of our uniquely American Character takes place every day of our lives.4 July 3

But, the lessons learned are really a lot of fun when you are young—even when you are getting older it is truly joyful to see the learning experience in the smiles and brightness of young eyes!

Happy Birthday America….

We Are 244 Years Old Today!

WW II Veteran is Honored on his 95th Birthday

On Sunday June 28th, 2020 , the Cincinnati Chapter of the SAR , under the leadership of President Lee Wilkerson conducted a beautiful ceremony at Hillside Church honoring  Associate Pastor Russ Coburn, 95 years young and going strong ,  presenting him with the Good Citizen Medal and certificate of Recognition with appreciation extended for his brave service in WWII.

The invitation came at the behest of Senior Pastor, The Rev. Dr Ed Bonniwell. The Rev. Russ Coburn was a C- 47 Flyboy in WWII , flying the Hump in the Burma campaign under Gen. Stillwell.  The planes carried thousands of gallons of gasoline to desperately needed  troops to maintain the American/ Chinese advance.  The entire congregation at Hillside thrilled at the moment and for Rev Coburn it came as a complete and delightful  surprise !  At Hillside Church and throughout the city many hold Pastor Coburn with the highest regards! A special thanks is extended to Dan Schmidt, Chuck Rogers, Jack Bredenfoerder, and Clay Crandall who participated in full uniform with weapons! Dr Ed Bonniwell , host Pastor and SAR  Chaplain for the state of Ohio, observed the ceremony with great pride!  Pastor Coburn has been with Dr. Bonniwell as his associate since 1983 !

The saints of the Hillside Church were all deeply moved by the recognition ceremony, conducted with great dignity by President Lee.  The well wishes and language employed made the whole event most ennobling!  This was truly a memorable and beautiful time . Because Hillside is a “Church without walls!” meeting at the Quality Inn in Blue Ash , our Color-Guard really impressed the manger/owner and the guest that were present! After the service the saints had a luncheon in the Hotel Restaurant and one kid came and asked if those“ old time soldiers would be coming back?”  I told him “yes , and that in time they would be back . “ Continental Soldiers always  captivate  the public and cause all to remember our fight for freedom !

 Submitted by Dr . Ed Bonniwell  SAR Ohio State Chaplain

Flag Day 14 June 2020 in Cincinnati


The official flag of the United states was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.  The resolution that passed stated:  “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

By Proclamation, President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, officially established June 14 as Flag Day.

By an Act of the United States Congress on August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established.

There were many flags prior to 1777 that represented the hopes and ideals of  “We the People.”

There has been just one American Flag over this Nation since June 14, 1777.

Music and songs have been written in honor this symbol…

The Star-Spangled Banner—by Francis Scott Key in 1814

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again—by Patrick Gilmore in 1863

The Yankee Doodle Boy—by George M. Cohan in 1904

You’re a Grand Old Flag—by George Cohen in 1906

Ragged Old Flagby Johnny Cash in 1974

Courtesy of the Red, White & Blueby Toby Keith in 2002

It has been carried into battle against enemies of our Nation and the ideals we hold precious—Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness.

It has inspired millions of American Patriots that fought to defend their home and land against enemies, both foreign and domestic.

It is the flag that inspired perseverance during our darkest days of conflict.

It has never been a symbol of Conquest—but, only a symbol of Hope and the Promise of Liberty in foreign lands where oppression and domination of human dignity has attempted to flourish.

It flies over American Cemeteries in foreign lands—the only foreign land we asked to keep—so that American Patriots that have given their lives in defense of the many that could not defend themselves—might Rest in Peace.

It is the flag that you & I pledged our allegiance to as children and students once upon a time in our schools.

It is the flag that used to fly on the screens of TV’s and Movie Theaters at the end of the show or broadcast day.

It is the flag that is burned, stepped on and desecrated by today’s enemies of democracy, both foreign and domestic.

It is the flag that many of my ancestors fought under in foreign lands…

It is the flag that I fought under in foreign wars…

It is the flag that draped the coffins of American Patriots when their lives were ended!

It is the flag that draped the coffins of my father and grandfathers!

It is the flag that will drape my coffin when my days have ended!



Members present:

  • President Ohio Society SAR Lee Wilkerson
  • 2nd Vice President Ohio Society SAR – Jack Bredenfoerder
  • Chaplain Ohio Society SAR – Ed Bonniwell
  • 1st Vice President Cincinnati Chapter – Greg Ballman
  • 2nd Vice President Cincinnati Chapter – George Stewart
  • Past President Cincinnati Chapter – Mike Gunn
  • President Highlanders Chapter – Gary Duffield
  • Compatriot – Gordon Stokley
  • Compatriot – Doug Blake
  • Compatriot – Dan Schmitz
  • Compatriot – Chuck Rogers

Mahoning Valley – Flag Day Luncheon

On Flag Day, I had the privilege of  attending, along with my wife, Christine, the June 13th, 2020 Flag Day Luncheon of the Mahoning Valley SAR Chapter. The meeting was held at the Youngstown, Ohio Country Club and to the extent possible current Social Distancing protocol was observed.

The highlight of the meeting was the presentation to the OHSSAR Knight Essay Contest Winner, Justin McLemore. In addition to a certificate, he received a medal and $800.00 check from OHSSAR.  Justin is also a Junior member of the Mahoning Valley Chapter.  (photo attached – pictured Justin McLemore and Chapter President Scott Davis).

Flag Day Mahoning Valley

Following the presentation, the video of by Van Scott – The Many Faces of Glory was presented.


Troy Bailey, First Vice President — Ohio Society SAR

Visiting Hocking Valley

This past Saturday, our 2nd Vice President, Jack Bredenfoerder and I, had the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of the Hocking Valley Chapter at their “coming out” BOM meeting since the onset of the Pandemic shutdown.   The chapter had a good turnout for this gathering  which included election of two officers to the chapter’s leadership and Americanism Contest Awards to Student Winners of the Poster and Brochure contests.

Induction4Induction3Young Carson Call was present with his Dad to receive his Award Certificates and Scholarship Prizes for his Poster on Virginia in the Revolution.  Carson took 1st place in the Hocking Valley Chapter Contest and 3rd palace in the Ohio Society Contest.  As an additional incentive and memento of the occasion the Ohio Society awarded Carson an Ohio Society Challenge Coin.

Moving to the next item on the agenda, Compatriot Bob Hill conducted the brief  and uncontested election of the two nominees for the positions of Vice President and Chaplain.

Induction2Chapter President Matt Hardman was nominated and elected to the role of Chapter Chaplain.  Compatriot Joe McCrady was nominated and elected to the position of Vice President. Your President was given the opportunity conduct the Swearing in Ceremony to Vice President McCrady and Chaplain Hardman.

To the gentlemen compatriots of Hocking Valley—Thank you for Lunch and the opportunity to be of service your chapter!

I’m looking forward to my next visit —See you all at Fort Laurens!


Ohio SAR Chaplain’s Conference Call

Ohio SAR Chaplain Rev. Dr. Ed Bonniwell will be hosting a conference call on March 10, 2020 with a special guest.  Please see the attached letter for details and make plans to call in.

SAR March Chaplain’s Conference Call letter

Eyes of Freedom Living Memorial in Ohio

The Eyes of Freedom began in Ohio Statehouse back in 2008 as a living memorial to the fifteen members of Lima Company who lost their lives in an Attack in Afghanistan in 2005. Annita Hill painted life-size portraits of the men. They were placed in a circle in the Rotunda of the Statehouse. The rest is history.

The first week of February the Memorial was once again in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda. Mike and Sean were with the Memorial as they have been for years. It was the 319 presentation and has been seen in 32 states.

The Memorial will be seen again in Ohio in Marietta the last weekend of March in Cincinnati the last week of May and back in Columbus during Veterans Day week at the Veteran’s Memorial Museum on W. Broad Street.

Mike Strahle is pictured below, received a Purple Heart Medal for his service with the Lima Company.

Be sure to make time to see this moving tribute when it is near you.

Medal of Heroism Presented to the Dayton Six


At a special luncheon held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 the Dayton Police Officers now known as the Dayton Six were honored by the Sons of the American Revolution with the National NSSAR Medal of Heroism. The Medal is recognition of exemplary bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of imminent danger and only awarded in unique situations. The Officers honored were Sgt. Chad Knight, Officer Jeremy Campbell, Officer Vince Carter, Officer Dave Denlinger, Officer Ryan Nabel and Officer Brian Rolfes.

The Luncheon was held in conjunction with the Winter Board of Management of the Ohio Society at the Hope Hotel in Fairborn, Ohio next to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Key Note Speaker was Ohio Attorney General David Yost. Ohio SAR Presentation were made by First Vice-President Lee Wilkerson and State President Steve Hinson. State Chaplain Dr. R Edgar Bonniwell. Color Guard was led in by State Color Guard Commander Steve Frash. Ninety people were in attendance.


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