2017 Wreaths Across America Alexandria National Cemetery

On December 16th volunteers, including seven GW Chapter Members, placed approximately 3,000 wreaths at the Alexandria National Cemetery the oldest National Cemetery in the United States.

Above (L to R) Vice-President, Ernie Coggins, Jack Coulter, Chapter President, Paul Walden, John Brigden and Historian, Tom Roth.

The George Washington Chapter donated funds to purchase 140 wreaths at the Alexandria National Cemetery. Other GWSAR Chapter compatriots participated in ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and St. Mary’s Cemetery in Alexandria, VA. Overall, 59% of the 5,001 veteran graves at Alexandria National Cemetery were decorated with a wreath on this event, which is a big increase over past years. Compatriot Paul Briggs, Jack Coulter and Jamie Callender led the GW Chapter participation.

(L to R) Jack Coulter, VFW event MC, Paul Briggs and Jamie Callender.

President General Guzy Presents Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

PG Larry Guzy and Virginia SAR President Mike Elston present the NSSAR Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

On September 9 the George Washington Chapter hosted President General Larry Guzy as he presented the NSSAR Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.  PG Guzy was assisted by VASSAR President, Mike Elston in presenting the wreath, and escorted by George Washington Chapter President, Paul Walden and Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander, Bill Schwetke.  The Virginia SAR Color Guard flanked the march down the steps to the tomb in uniform with flags.

New GWSAR Chapter Officers Installed!

Left to right: Joe Dooley (GM Registrar), Gene Thomas (GM Chaplain), Andy Johnson (GM Treasurer), Ken Morris (GM Vice-President and Secretary), Pete Davenport (GM President), VASSAR President, Mike Elston, Ernie Coggins (GW President), Dave Thomas (GW Vice-President), Jay Henn (GW Treasurer) and Tom Roth (GW Secretary).

An annual tradition of the George Mason (GM) and George Washington (GW) Chapters has been to have a joint meeting in December. At the December 9 meeting at Mount Vernon Country Club, we were honored to have Virginia Society President Michael Elston install the 2018 officers for both Chapters.

VASSAR President, Mike Elston looks on as Immediate Past President Paul Walden puts President Medal on Ernie Coggins.  Also observing are Pete Davenport (left) and Jay Henn (right).

2017 Veterans Day Commemoration & Wreath Laying at Gen. George Washington’s Tomb

The George Washington Chapter Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution and the Kate Waller Barrett Chapter Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution conducted their annual Veteran's Day commemoration and wreath laying at General Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon at 2:15 pm on November 11.  The wreath was presented by Col. John Brigden, USA (Ret.) and Cdr. Joseph Famme, USN (Ret.). Kate Waller Barrett Virginia DAR Chapter Regent Kathy Gray and George Washington Virginia SAR Chapter President Paul Walden gave remarks.  George Washington Chapter Vice President Ernest Coggins served as Master of Ceremonies.  The VASSAR Color Guard presented colors and Fifer MSG. Don Francisco, USA (Ret.) provided the music accompaniment, in addition VASSAR President, Mike Elston and the Virginia President of the C.A.R., Emily Elston were also in attendance.  Despite the cold weather, there was a large turnout from the public.

A Message From the Chapter President....

Welcome to the website of the George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution! With over 275 members, we are Virginia's largest SAR chapter and one of the largest chapters in the world. In 2017, we are proudly celebrating our 63rd year of advancing the goals and ideals of the SAR in Alexandria and the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.  We always have a warm welcome for new members, and I hope you will join us in the SAR's important work.

Our wide range of activities makes us one of the most dynamic chapters in the country. Whether it is participating in the annual July 4th wreath-laying ceremony at Mount Vernon, marching in the National Memorial Day Parade or Alexandria's Washington's Birthday Parade, honoring local police officers and firefighters with SAR awards, judging a youth contest, honoring local Patriots by marking their graves, or just enjoying a fabulous lunch with a fascinating speaker, there are many ways for a new member to get involved in the work of the SAR. Our members also are active at the state and national levels of the SAR, serving as national officers, state officers, state committee chairmen and national committee members.

In all of our programs and events, we endeavor to remember and honor the Patriots who won our freedom and created a new nation, and we strive to keep America great and advance the American Dream. Specifically, SAR members seek to promote and extend:

  • the institutions of American freedom;
  • an appreciation for true patriotism;
  • a respect for our national symbols;
  • the value of American citizenship; and
  • the unifying force of e pluribus unum that has created, from the people of many nations, one nation and one people.

The George Washington Chapter is particularly well suited to the work of the SAR, as we count among our members many current and former high-ranking military, government, business and non-profit leaders. All of our members are dedicated to advancing the purposes of the SAR, and to living out its principles here in Northern Virginia.

Our regular monthly meetings are held September through May at the beautiful Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria. These meetings generally feature a prominent speaker in a field related to the American Revolution, U.S. history and government, or other key issues of the day. For example, past speakers have included the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Archivist of the United States, the President & CEO of the Mt. Vernon Estate, and the Inspector General of the General Services Administration as well as local authors and historians whose work relates to the Revolutionary Era.

If you are already a member of the SAR and would like to join the George Washington Chapter, please contact our Secretary. If you are not a member of the SAR and would like more information about joining the SAR and the George Washington Chapter, please click on our Membership page or contact our Registrar. Membership is open to any adult male who is a lineal descendant of a Revolutionary War soldier or patriot. Women and children interested in joining should contact the Daughters of the American Revolution (www.dar.org) or the Children of the American Revolution (www.nscar.org).

Thank you for your interest in the George Washington Chapter. I hope you will join us in the important work of the SAR as we strive to honor our Patriot ancestors by extending the legacy of the freedom for which they were willing to sacrifice all.


Ernie Coggins

Go To Top of Page