(Statement by Chapter President Tony Bothwell at 4/28/11 Meeting) Sons of the American Revolution, by chance of birth descendants of patriots who fought in or gave material aid to that first revolution: We honor forbears who by their sacrifice established the United States of America, honor our countrymen who have put themselves in harm’s way—from the Boston Massacre to the latest violence in Afghanistan—and honor the service of all active, reserve and retired military personnel.
Through patriotic ceremonies and educational activities, we aspire to pass on to our posterity an appreciation of how our Nation was founded and what it stands for: principles of liberty, a Constitutional Republic, the Bill of Rights, an independent Supreme Court and a Nation of free men.
In a recent meeting of the California Society of SAR, there was some discussion about whether an SAR meeting should be a platform to advance a partisan ideology or faction. Wayne Griswald rightly said, “This is not a partisan organization.”
We did not come to Sinbad’s today to discuss issues currently pending
before Congress. Our patriot ancestors did not fight for Hamilton’s Federalist party. They did not fight for Jefferson’s Republican party. They fought for the independence of the nation and the liberty of every citizen. No party, no faction may dictate what we are to think about the foreign and domestic issues that face the Nation. The Founders had sharp differences among themselves. In the final analysis, what united them was their belief in the debate itself and in the process of achieving national consensus. Their genius, their gift to us, their gift to the civilized world, was a revolutionary idea: a Constitutional Republic that does not denigrate the rights of the individual.
Those of us who want to be heard on current political issues are encouraged to participate in the democratic process as individuals and, if we choose, in the political organizations of our choice. However, use of this podium or any SAR forum to veer outside the scope of the mission of the Sons of the American Revolution and into the realm of partisan political debate would be inconsistent with our charter. It would damage SAR recruitment and retention. It would endanger our tax-exempt status. So, let us celebrate the political differences that we have among us, but let us air them in other forums.
Can we here truly renew our commitment to that which unites us: Sons of the American Revolution, heirs of that first revolution, it is our duty—it is our privilege—to honor the dream that unified our forefathers and never to forget the blood that was shed for our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a Nation of free men. And women.