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A colonial connection

Organization stems from American Revolution

The Alexander Hamilton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is located in Fife. Photo courtesy of Arthur Dolan

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The ideals of the American Revolution take on a life of their own when remembered by those who have a direct connection to it.

In 1876, the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a group of men in San Francisco who were descendants of patriots involved in the revolution formed an organization called the Sons of Revolutionary Sires.

Their goal was to create a fraternal society to honor their forefathers.

In April 1889, the centennial of the inauguration of George Washington as the nation's first president, the group changed its name to the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).

"The Sons of the American Revolution is an all-male lineage society (composed) of those who have a direct lineage back to the American Revolution," wrote Arthur Dolan, Washington State Color Guard Commander, in an email.

"Just as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is an all-female organization, we share the common bond that our ancestors either fought in or supported the revolution."

SAR members join to honor their ancestors and to ensure their service -- and the history surrounding it -- is not forgotten.

"Our ancestors represent the first veterans of the United States of America," Dolan continued. "Although many of us are veterans, too, there is a deep sense of pride and patriotism that we are descended from them ... Our history is the nation's history, since our families were here when the 13 colonies became the United States of America."

The SAR was chartered by an Act of Congress June 9, 1906, and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, a SAR member.

The organization's purpose rests on three concepts -- education, history and patriotism.

It engages in educational outreach with presentations on topics like the "History of the American Flag," "Liberty's Children and their Role in the Revolution," and "Women in the Revolution."

"We see our role as purveyors of living history in furthering the history of and patriotism to our country," Dolan continued.

The group also participates in civic events such as parades, naturalization ceremonies and patriotic events.

"Our Color Guard takes part in the Massing of the Colors Ceremony every year; it is the most important event we participate in," Dolan said. "Our public participation is the face of SAR."

With that comes a voice, and it is heard in each of the eight chapters in Washington State.

Dolan said that SAR chapters are representative of the communities in which they are formed. Chapters have both veterans and non-veterans, and topics can range from an individual's genealogy to airport safety.

"Patriotism is always at the forefront," he concluded.

The Alexander Hamilton Chapter of the SAR is located in Fife. To learn more about the organization, visit  To learn more about one's possible connection to the American Revolution, the group has a genealogist who can help with a genealogical search.

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