UNION — The Fair Forest Chapter, NSDAR, met Jan. 7 in the Union County Museum meeting room.
Harriett Berry, Regent, called the meeting to order. Melba Russell offered a prayer for the Devotional. Amy Bruce, Chairman of the Flag Committee, led the chapter in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the U.S., the American’s Creed, the Salute to the Flag of S.C., and the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner accompanied by Kathleen Read.
Mrs. Read, National Defense Chairman, read the National Defense Report, “Reconnaissance Robots, Place on Battlefields Still Unsettled.” Mrs. Bruce, Secretary, read the minutes of the Nov. 5 meeting. Margaret McCarley, Treasurer, read the Treasurer’s Report.
Martha Whitener, Chairman of the Fair Forest Chapter DAR Good Citizens Committee, awarded the DAR Good Citizen certificates, wallet cards and pins to the Fair Forest DAR Good Citizens, Alex Henderson, Union Christian Day School, and Alana Wright, Union County High School. Alana Wright read her essay to the chapter, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It.”
The next meeting will be Feb. 4 in the Union County Museum meeting room. Jeff Fellers, Agent, Clemson Extension Service, will present the program, “Preserving Our National Resources.”
Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It
How does one’s personal heritage affect one’s duties to our nation?
Almost every society that has developed over the past 4,000 years has made an attempt to preserve its history in some form or another. Today we record facts and events in astonishing detail. In times past the Jewish scribes would religiously copy manuscripts letter for letter. The Egyptians constructed large architectural structures in hopes that they would endure. The attempts of these people to preserve and pass down their history, knowledge, and culture to generations of people who had yet to be born was an attempt to preserve and tell an intentional message. It was an attempt to pass on the wisdom and experience of the generations that had gone before them. This one facet makes the study of history a valuable use of one’s time.
Heritage is the history, unique knowledge, values and traditions that have developed by a combination of genes and environment over time. Heritage, whether it be national, cultural, or family is an endowment of unique sets of historical knowledge; but foremost, heritage is our history. It is responsible for how we came to be, it is a very large part of whom and what we are and it can determine what we will become.
A keen sense of heritage will help to understand, in part, just who we are. The yearning by many adolescents to “discover who they are” and their importance or role in this world can be answered in the study of their heritage. Of course adults can also suffer from this crisis in identity and heritage can be just as much of a cure for them. It is true that your heritage does not fully determine WHO you are; it essentially helps to determine your “starting position” in life. This intimate knowledge of self can lead one down the road of ones ancestry’s mistakes or to their great exploits.
Heritage is an inheritance better than money or property. Unlike money or other property, heritage cannot be stolen or taken from someone as long as they are alive. It can only be lost or forgotten by a choice that one makes. Our mobile society and fast pace world has caused us to forget much of our heritage. We have relegated our family history books, and our nation’s history books, to the corners of our library. We have watered down, or forgotten altogether, our traditions. We have sequestered the older generation to retirement communities and nursing facilities, and as they grow old and die — so does our heritage. More often than not, that generation has failed to pass it on. If we value our heritage, we will then be able to pass it on to our children with a little bit of ourselves attached to it. What we do now, how we live our lives and the character we build, adds to the heritage we leave to our children. Some of us may not have money or property to give to our children when we die, but we can give a rich heritage to them. We can offer a heritage that will enhance their lives in every good way that we desire for them.