18 Honored with Awards Before 3,500 Members and Guests at the Daughters of the American Revolution's 133rd Continental Congress

PR Newswire
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 9:47am UTC

18 Honored with Awards Before 3,500 Members and Guests at the Daughters of the American Revolution's 133rd Continental Congress

PR Newswire

Honorees included Admiral Linda Fagan, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, who received the DAR Patriot Award, CeCe Moore, prominent forensic genealogist, who received the DAR Medal of Honor, and Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, who received the DAR History Award Medal

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Saturday, June 29 marked the final gala awards ceremony of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 133rd Continental Congress as 3,500 DAR members and guests gathered at the DAR Washington, D.C. headquarters, near the White House. There was celebration and organizational business during the weeklong Continental Congress, along with recognition of excellence with 18 awards bestowed to distinguished persons and students for historic preservation, education and patriotism, the three pillars of the DAR mission.

"As part of our mission to preserve and promote American history, education, and patriotism, DAR is honored to share the stories and work of so many deserving individuals, whether it's over a long professional career or students who give us such hope for the future of our great country."

June 29 was the National Defense Night Ceremony and Admiral Linda Fagan, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), was keynote speaker. She was recognized for her service to our country with the DAR Patriot Award, which was established following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America to honor a person who provides extraordinary service to protect America's freedom. Admiral Fagan is the first woman to hold the Commandant position of the USCG and oversees all global USCG operations, including 42,000 active-duty, 7,000 reserve, 8,700 civilian personnel, and 21,000 Auxiliary volunteers.

During this ceremony, the DAR commemorated the 80th Anniversary of D-Day with a special presentation and honored 100-year-old WWII veteran and DAR member Marjorie Stone with the President General's Medallion.

Other military-related awards bestowed on Saturday evening were:

  •     Margaret Cochran Corbin Award (for distinguished service by women in the military named for "Captain Molly," who took over her husband's cannon during the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776) – to Col. Allison Black, USAF (ret.) for her 32-year career in the Air Force including more than 2,000 hours of combat missions including her first in Afghanistan during which she earned the nickname the "Angel of Death."
  •     Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee Award/Army Nurse of the Year (named for DAR's first Librarian General, Dr. McGee, who practiced medicine in Washington, D.C. and directed the DAR Hospital Corp during the Spanish-American War and later, while Acting Assistant U.S. Surgeon General, founded the Army Nurse Corp) – to Col. Maria Bruton, chief nursing officer at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and nurse executive and has served throughout Texas, Italy, Germany, and Iraq. Her military awards including the Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC), and the Iraqi Campaign Medal.
  •     Outstanding Veteran Volunteer – to Arthur G. Austin, whose U.S. Army service from 1977 to 2014 included the Cuban Refugee Crisis, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He now mentors with the Enchanted Mountain Coalition and the LEEK Foundation Veteran Hunting and Mountain Preserve in upstate New York, family-friendly all-inclusive retreats for veterans with the mission of "Serving All Veterans, All Wars."
  •     Outstanding Youth Volunteer – to Elsie Van Beek, a South Dakota high school sophomore who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and raised $85,000 to sponsor the entirety of a Midwest Honor Flight on May 31, 2023, which became known as "The Elsie Honors Mission 15." She has more than 1,000 hours in service to veterans and has participated in all 18 Midwest Honor Flight Missions (based in Sioux Falls, S.D.).
  •     DAR Outstanding Service for Veterans Award Winner – to Barbara Grant, a member of the Eagle, Idaho DAR chapter. As Idaho State Chaplain, she donated more than 600 hours of service to veterans in 2023 alone. Additionally, she volunteers weekly at the Boise VA Medical Center and the Idaho State Veterans' Home, where she has been instrumental in screening veterans for food insecurity.

Thursday evening, June 27 featured multiple awards recognizing excellence in education, one of which was DAR's award for Outstanding Teacher of American History earned by Lois MacMillan.

A high school educator in Grants Pass, Ore., MacMillan's 30-year career has spanned kindergarten through high school, teaching American History, AP Government and Politics, and World History. MacMillan received the Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award in 2018 for creating a six-lesson, 8th grade history unit based on the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit, "Hamilton." She also facilitated teaching a Founding Era curriculum to over 750 Title I high schools in 14 cities nationwide.

Awards were given for the DAR American History Essay Contest in which students drafted a mock newspaper article reporting on the new John Philip Sousa march in 1897, "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Winners were: Kate Womack, a 5th grader from Utah; Dheer Mehrotra, a 6th grader from Georgia; Jackson Nerenberg, a 7th grader from Ohio; and Ananya Mandrekar, an 8th grader from New Jersey.

The DAR Patriots of the American Revolution Essay Contest winner was Hansika Lenkala from East Granby, Conn. The DAR Good Citizens Scholarship Award was won by Christina Gogzheyan from Cold Spring, Ky.

The DAR 2024 Continental Congress Opening Night Ceremony, Wednesday, June 27, featured a performance by Mark Schneider, a Marquis de Lafayette historical interpreter who the Parisian magazine, Le Figaro, has noted as portraying one of the top Napoleons in film, ahead of Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix. The following award winners were recognized:

  •     DAR Medal of Honor – to CeCe Moore, a DNA detective and chief genetic genealogist for Parabon Nanolabs where she has an unparalleled record of solving more than 300 cold cases using genetic genealogy and has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, and the PBS Newshour. She also contributed and worked as a full-time genetic genealogist on the PBS Television documentary series, "Finding Your Roots," with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  •     DAR History Award Medal – to Dr. Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress. She is the first woman and African American to lead the national library and, since President Barack Obama nominated her in 2016. In her tenure, she has made the library more accessible to the public through her social media presence, events, and activities. People can now see items from the extensive library collection online without visiting Washington, D.C.
  •     Historic Preservation Award – to Steve Porterfield who has spent more than 36 years conserving and collecting antique clothing to place in museums and private collections worldwide. He has worked extensively with the Ellen Noel Art Museum and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. He has provided vintage clothing, fabrics and accessories for films including "Killers of the Flower Moon" (2023) and has appraised textiles for PBS' "Antiques Roadshow" for 14 years.
  •     Founders Medal for Education – to Bernice Steinhardt, president of Art and Remembrance, an arts and educational non-profit that brings the work and story of Holocaust survivor and fabric artist Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, her mother, to a wider audience. Art and Remembrance maximizes the educational potential of Esther's art and promotes art and personal memoir as tools for healing and awareness. Two pieces of Esther's art currently hang in the DAR Museum's "Sewn in America" exhibit and Bernice will offer a Story Cloth Workshop at the DAR Museum in October, where guests will learn about this traditional craft and make their own story cloth.

"Continental Congress is always a busy but exhilarating series of days, and our award presentations are a particularly gratifying and enjoyable part of the experience," said Pamela Wright, DAR President General. "As part of our organization's mission to preserve and promote American history, education, and patriotism, DAR is honored to share the stories and work of so many deserving individuals, whether it's over a long professional career or students who give us such hope for the future of our great country. It is our absolute pleasure to spotlight their excellent work impacting all of us across the nation."

About the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
One of the largest patriotic women's service organizations in the world, DAR has 190,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters across the country and several foreign countries. DAR members promote historic preservation, education and patriotism via commemorative events, scholarships and educational initiatives, citizenship programs, service to veterans, meaningful community service and more. For additional information about DAR and its relevant mission, visit http://www.dar.org.

Media Contact

Bren Landon, Daughters of the American Revolution, 202-572-0563, blandon@dar.org, https://www.dar.org/

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SOURCE Daughters of the American Revolution