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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Discover your heritage

  • We pride ourselves of being a nation of immigrants and rightfully so. Aside from Native Americans, hundreds of thousands of sons and daughters of the American Revolution never came from far-off lands but from the original 13 colonies.

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  • We pride ourselves of being a nation of immigrants and rightfully so. Aside from Native Americans, hundreds of thousands of sons and daughters of the American Revolution never came from far-off lands but from the original 13 colonies.
     In 1876, following the centennial July Fourth celebration, a group of San Francisco men, all descendants of the revolution, formed the Sons of the Revolutionary Sires, with the goal of keeping alive the story of the American Revolution.
     SAR has grown to 500 chapters in six countries, comprising some 28,000 members, with 17 Missouri chapters with 500-plus members.
     The Daughters of the American Revolution began in 1890 and is now represented in nearly 100 Missouri cities.
     My family tree has roots in Europe, but I have had the honor of speaking at many DAR and SAR events, and I have always come away with a deeper understanding of our brave ancestors. My wall proudly adorns certificates of appreciation from the Johnson County, Kan., Delaware Crossing Chapter and from the renowned Harry S. Truman Chapter in Independence.
     At the Truman chapter, you will find 74-year-old U.S. Navy veteran Robert L. Grover, the major general of the state color guard. The Independence resident traces his lineage to John Grover of the New York militia. Grover has been a SAR member since 1979 and has participated in more than 2500 patriotic events.
     His 45 color guard contingency stands ready to serve. Many were there, all four unbearable hot humid days, during the traveling Wall that Heals event in North Kansas City this past summer. Currently, his state color guard includes Dirk A. Stapelton, James L. Scott, Alvin L. Paris, Russell F. Devenney, William A. Groth and Gerald R. McCoy.
      Grover has several patriotic concerns.
     “We need to take pride by looking back to go forward and uphold the ideas of our founding patriots,” he says. “Encourage more Americans to be more involved in schools to promote patriotism ... the Revolutionary War was about having freedom, and many Americans take this for granted. ... Some don’t even stand up or pay respect in a parade as our flag passes by.”
     You might want to look at your family tree from 1774 to 1783 to see if you have a patriot ancestor. Go to the DAR and SAR web pages seek out their “Where to Start” page.
     I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
     
     Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.
     
         
     
     
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