Rittel receives Good Citizenship Award

The Iowa Society of the SAR awarded member Ron Rittel the Bronze Good Citizenship award for his projects of identifying, documenting, photographing, placing on a website for public viewing  and transcribing the graves of the last Civil War veteran in each of Iowa’s 99 counties.  In addition to that project Compatriot Rittel is also working to photograph the charters for each of the G.A.R. posts in Iowa.  They numbered over 50 at one time   Photo- left to right Ron Rittel, SAR member and SUVCW Iowa Department Commander Danny Krock and Iowa SAR Past President Volney Smith [...]

Iowa State Fair Parade

Iowa SAR entry in the 2015.  Red Mustang convertible is owned and driven by forever young Iowa SAR member Volney Smith, Past President and current Secretary and Treasurer of the Iowa SAR.  Riding with Volney were DAR members Kathryn Smith (his daughter), Judy McNamara and Alberta M [...]

“Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive”

Iowa SAR is often involved in programs that honor those who served during the Revolutionary War.   On Sunday August 16, 2015 several of our members joined in a celebration that was little closer to home in place and time.     The “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive” program was held at the Iowa veterans Cemetery in Van Meter, Iowa as well as other locations in nearly all states and National Veterans cemeteries.   It was not only a chance for many of my generation to honor their own family members that served during WWII and have passed but also a chance to meet, embrace and personally thank WWII veterans in person.   I met Calvin Beam of Nevada, Iowa who if I understood correctly, enlisted shortly out of high school and was involved in over 20 battles of what he termed “his free world tour.”     While he was not one of those up on the stage with the local dignitaries he was one of many of the quiet heroes in the crowd on this bright sunny Iowa afternoon.  While comments were made by the speakers it was not uncommon to see those veterans in the crowd getting [...]

Patriot Gravestone Project

We are building a database of Patriots with gravestones in Iowa. As we want this listing to be as complete as possible, please browse through our spreadsheet and photos and let us know if you have any leads on additional Patriots. By opening the spreadsheet on a PC, you can perform a keyword search to locate Patriots by name, county, etc. Additional information: http://iassar.org/page/14/ http://iassar.org/page/15/ http://iassar.org/page/16/ http://iassar.org/page/17/ Patriot Gravestone [...]

Iowa Cemetery Awakenings

On a beautiful July day, high a top a hill at the SAMS Cemetery in Jasper County it is clear enough to see the Principal Building in Downtown Des Moines.  Closer to the actual site members of the Iowa Sons of the American Revolution, the General Society of the War of 1812, the  Iowa Military Heritage Society, the Iowa Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and other volunteers combined the research they had done with a little manual labor and saw to it that yet another previously unmarked Civil War veteran’s grave was graced with a granite VA supplied stone. Danny Krock, Mike Rowley, Bob Gannon and Jim Byal, Commander of Mingo American Legion Robert Gannon, A Vietnam veteran is the man behind the project and a transcript or audio version of an NPR story on the subject can be heard at   http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-cemetery-awakenings   Plans are well underway for a very special occasion on September 24th, 2016 that the public is encouraged and invited to participate in.   Mike Rowley Color Sgt. 49th [...]

Iowa DAR State Conference

The Iowa S.A.R. Color Guard was honored to present and retire the Colors at the  Iowa D.A.R. State Conference on May 06, 2016 in Ames, Iowa.  The President General Lynn Forney Young was the guest speaker that evening, followed by our annual awards to the DAR Good Citizen winner, Scholarship winner, and State History Award [...]

4th of July Parade

On July 4th 2016, members of the Iowa SAR Color Guard unit joined with the local DAR & CAR and marched in the largest 4th of July parade in the State of Iowa. American flags, woden coins and candy was distributed to over 2000 children along the route. Iowa SAR member Dr. Jerry Greenfield Iowa SAR, DAR and CAR members   [...]

Live Fire Range

October in Iowa means re-qualifying with period weapons on the live fire range for members of the Iowa Military Heritage Society who have several members that are also  Iowa SAR members. Members qualified with a flint Lock weapon of the Revolutionary War era as well as muskets from the Civil War era at both 50 and 10 yards. After the formal morning session attendees had the opportunity for training and practice with the M1 Garand rifle of WWII era Photo by Louie Zenti Shows event director Richard Grim giving instructions and safety rules to Iowa SAR Past President Mike Rowley Back row left to right Jim Breaden, Dave Sample, Richard GrimDavid Lamb and Ron Rittel,Front row L-R Jeff Rassmussen, Louis Zenti mike Rowley   Iowa SAR past president live firing towards target.  photo by David [...]

IASSAR Activities

Members of the Iowa SAR often share the good works they see being done in their local communities and I pass them along to each of you. Attached are few photos from last Saturday at the tomb of George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon in Alexandria, VA. As your Color Guard Commander in Iowa I had the great pleasure to appoint several of our peers from all around the country as “Honorary Iowa Color Guard members for the day.” Many of the SAR members participating expressed the “great honor” they felt to stand at the tomb of our first elected President.  I would encourage any interested members to consider attending next year. Respectfully submitted, Mike Rowley Iowa [...]

To Honor A Veteran

One of the things members of the Iowa SAR do to honor veterans is to see that their final resting place is properly marked and maintained. In 2003 the grave of Revolutionary War Veteran Philip Stech was re-discovered in Franklin County, PA by his great-great-great-great-grandson.  Cleaning of the small family farm cemetery began with the removal of over 40 trees and much mostly untouched overgrowth accumulated over the decades. By 2009 brothers Chuck and Robert Stech had meticulously rebuilt the surrounding stone wall and gate entrance.  More dead and dieing tress would be removed by other volunteers.  New trees would be planted inside the walls in each of the four corners. Many other descendants both local and from around the country contributed both labor and funds to make this one of the most beautiful family cemeteries in the country. In September of 2015 descendants of Pvt Stech would add a military style stone to supplement the original stone and insure that the information engraved in granite would exist for another century and beyond. Time and distance of descendants from the original cemetery quickly turns to tall grass, weeds and overgrowth.  Perhaps this is in someways a picturesque remeinder to all [...]
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