At 6:30 p.m., First Vice President David Whaley called the meeting to order; Joe Brock gave the invocation; James Cooke led the pledge to the U.S. flag; Tommy McLain led the pledge to the Tennessee flag; and Dwight Reagan led the SAR flag pledge.
Several guests were in attendance, including: Ed and Vickie Lay, Glen Martin, Patrick and Angie Abercrombie, Tom Reynolds and Debbie Riggs.
Patrick Abercrombie, father of Alex Abercrombie, was called forward to introduce his son as a recipient of the Bronze Good Citizenship medal and certificate.
Alex was nominated by his superior officer Tom Reynolds of the U.S. Navel Sea Cadet Corps unit in Chattanooga, to receive the award.
Abercrombie gave a glowing account of his son’s accomplishments, including the fact Alex is a cadet 1st class in his unit. He attends Georgetown Baptist Church, and recently completed his junior year at Cleveland Christian School, where he lettered on his varsity basketball team.
Since January 2012, Alex has accomplished the following: completed numerous correspondence courses, advancement exams and advanced training sessions, where he served in several as “Leading Petty Officer of Training.”
He served as Color Guard coordinator for Chattanooga division by taking on the responsibilities for maintaining a trained and ready Color Guard staff and ensuring “precision” at every performance.
During 2012 Alex was awarded the VFW medal for his work in teaching about the flag, color guards and promoting Americanism. He had participated in 17 color guard activities, and logged 173 hours of community service with Ocoee Outreach. He has earned numerous Sea Cadet ribbons and stars, and attended several training courses including Basic Airman Training and Petty Officer Leadership Academy.
In May, Alex was named the inaugural “Flag Sentry” for the city of Cleveland and Bradley County. In this capacity he volunteers his time to maintain flags at the Courthouse and Johnson Park, and for other special occasions. Whaley presented the medal and certificate to Alex Abercrombie, and pictures were taken.
The induction of two members was led by Whaley. They were Jerry L. Venable and Benjamin Riggs (posthumous). Debbie Riggs, Benjamin’s sister, accepted the membership certificate on his behalf, since he recently passed away.
Venable expressed appreciation for being a part of the organization, and spoke of how Stan Evans helped him cross the final bridge to his Revolutionary War ancestor by finding a will from his great-grandmother that provided the final connection.
After a the meal, Whaley called the meeting back into session, and e introduced the speaker for the evening, Erin Medley of Red Clay State Historic Park.
Her topic was “The 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears” and also the August commemoration at Red Clay. She started as a ranger with the park in March.
In her presentation, Medley stated she has hopes and dreams for Red Clay. She is excited to be in charge of the Aug. 3 and 4 commemoration of the Cherokee removal.
She wants to make Red Clay into more of a living history park, much like Fort Loudoun. She plans to have an SAR member there to play Sam Houston. There will also be a live bald eagle, because the eagle played such an important role in Cherokee lore.
She also wants guest speakers and demonstrations of Cherokee handiwork. Some Cherokee food will be available. Medley said Red Clay was to the Cherokee as Washington, D.C., is to us.
The Cherokees moved into Red Clay because of a law in Georgia prohibiting any two Cherokees from meeting and talking in Georgia, unless it was to discuss selling Cherokee land to the government. Also, the Blue Hole provided an abundant supply of water.
Eleven Council meetings were held at Red Clay, from 1832 until 1838. The Treaty of 1835 gave Cherokee land to the government.
Medley continued her discussion by demonstrating the blowgun used to hunt small game. A target with a bullseye was set up in the room, and she only missed the center by 4 to 5 inches. She told of how the blowgun was made from river cane.
Medley said she has developed a real passion for history and is continuing her education in that discipline. She said she wants children to appreciate the history of Red Clay when they visit.
There are free tours of the park if you call in advance. The August commemoration and celebration will cost $5 per vehicle, no matter how many are riding in it.
Whaley showed the membership a copy of an SAR newsletter which had many positive things to say about the statue unveiling ceremony April 19.
Whaley stated their members were really impressed with the work on the Cleveland statue.
Several chapter members, Claude Hardison, James Stone, and honorary member John Echerd, attended the Battle of Ramseur’s Mill celebration in Lincolnton, N.C., on June 22. Grave dedications of several of Echerd’s Revolutionary War patriots were conducted in a nearby county during the trip.
With no further business, Whaley proceeded to close the meeting, leading the recessional, and Herb Lackey delivered the benediction. The closing gavel was struck and the meeting was adjourned.