Daniel Boone DAR Chapter honors Constitution Day
by Sherrie Norris
Members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Daniel Boone Chapter of Boone, and a few of their friends, gathered -- some in period attire -- at 4 p.m. Tuesday to ring bells for liberty.
On Monday, the women had distributed promotional material to schools in the county as a reminder to students, faculty and staff of the importance of the constitution.
"Our chapter always acknowledges Liberty Week, which this year is Sept 17-23," said Bonnie Steelman, longtime member and current historian of the local DAR chapter. "We were named in honor of the great American pioneer and explorer, Daniel Boone, who left his mark on our county seat. He was a militia officer during the Revolutionary War, which in Kentucky was fought primarily between the American settlers and the British-aided Native Americans."
Honoring their heritage -- and especially their Revolutionary ancestors -- is something for which the Daniel Boone Chapter has been known since it was organized on Oct. 16, 1966, with 19 charter members under the leadership of Mrs. Hadley Wilson. Promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism is a primary objective of the group, which today has 50-plus members and is led by Mary Moretz, current chapter regent.
Chapter meetings are held at noon on the second Tuesday of the months August through December and March through June.
In addition to the annual acknowledgment of Constitution Week, the members also support programs for veterans, college ROTC, DAR Good Citizen and others sponsored by the National and North Carolina Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Steelman said.
Membership into the DAR is available to women who are at least 18 years of age and can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.
Daniel Boone Marker
Tuesday's event preceded another special observance by the DAR scheduled for Friday, Oct. 11, at which the Daniel Boone Chapter will again participate.
According to Steelman, two buses occupied by DAR's national board members will come to Boone to rededicate the Daniel Boone Trail marker at the Watauga Courthouse, by which the women stood to ring their bells on Tuesday.
"The president-general (Lynn Forney Young) will be leading this rededication ceremony, said Randell Jones, Winston-Salem historian and author of the award-winning book "In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone" and its companion DVD, "On the Trail of Daniel Boone."
In DAR circles, Jones said, having the president general come to your community "is a big deal."
Young will be joined by national board and state regents from many states, he said, including North Carolina.
"The original marker was placed in Boone on Oct. 23, 1913," Jones said, "So, the rededication is part of the centennial celebration of marking Daniel Boone's Trail."
The ceremony will take place at 8 a.m. and will be brief, Jones said, as the bus tour will be visiting the DAR Schools they sponsor, including The Crossnore School in neighboring Avery County.
The memorial wreath will be provided by the Daniel Boone Chapter, Steelman said, but will be placed by the Edward Buncombe Chapter from Asheville, "just as it was on the original marker was in 1913."
For more information about the Daniel Boone Chapter of the NSDAR, visit http://www.ncdar.org/DanielBooneChapter.