COLUMBIA FALLS — Maine State Organization Daughters of the American Revolution Regent Beverly Foster Robbins and the MSODAR Executive Board hosted the National Society DAR’s President General Denise Doring VanBuren and the NSDAR Executive Committee at a dedication ceremony in a “tipping grove” of Remembrance Trees on the Wreaths Across America acreage in Columbia Falls on June 11. The tipping grove honors Patriot Ancestors and other veterans with dog tags placed on a tree. GPS coordinates are recorded so others can visit the trees where a particular patriot or veteran is honored. Every three years, Wreaths Across America cuts the “tips” from a particular grove for use in the more than two million wreaths they make and ship for placement on veterans’ graves across the country, many of which go to Arlington National Cemetery.
Nearly 700 DAR chapters participate in the Wreaths Across America effort. DAR is the largest volunteer group taking part in honoring the graves of those who have served in the Armed Forces. Each December, these wreath laying ceremonies are held at close to 250 locations in the U.S. and abroad. The National Society DAR also sponsors the Wreaths Across America traveling education exhibit that educates participants in the organization’s mission to “Remember – Honor — Teach” about the service and sacrifice of our military. Wreaths Across America was founded by Morrill and Karen Worcester in 2007.
The day’s events included a tour of Burnham Tavern Museum, which is operated by members of the Hannah Weston DAR Chapter in Machias. Originally built in 1770 as a tavern and meeting place for local militia, the tavern became a hospital for the wounded following the Battle of Machias River, the first naval battle of the American Revolution in June 1775.
VanBuren’s final stop was at the home of MSODAR Honorary State Regent, Valdine Atwood, who served as Maine State Regent 1980-83. During her 67-year membership, Atwood is responsible for bringing 80 women into DAR through her work as a chapter regent but adds that her mother completed applications for 150 members. DAR membership is open to any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.
For more information about the Maine State Organization, please visit www.mainedar.org. For more information on Wreaths Across American, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.