CHAIRMAN’S BULLETIN BOARD
COMMITTEE FUND RAISER
SPIRIT OF AMERICA EDUCATION FOUNDATION (501c3)
FLAG KIT SUPPLIERS
PATRIOT OF ’76 CERTIFICATE
AMERICANISM COMMITTEE MEMBERS LIST
True Americanism “What is true Americanism and where does it reside? Its dwelling is in the heart. It speaks a score of dialects, but one language, follows a hundred paths to the same goal, performs a thousand kinds of service in loyalty to the same ideal which is its life. True Americanism is this:
To believe that the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are given by God.
To believe that any form of power that tramples on these rights is unjust.
To believe that taxation without representation is tyranny, that government must rest upon the consent of the governed, and that the people shall choose their own rulers.
To believe that freedom must be safeguarded by law and order, and that the end of freedom is fair play to all.
To believe not in forced equality of conditions and estates, but in a true equalization of burdens, privileges, and opportunities.
To believe that the selfish interests of persons, classes and sections must be subordinated to the welfare of the commonwealth.
To believe that union is as much a human necessity as liberty is a divine gift.
To believe not that all people are good but that the way to make them better is to trust the whole people.
To believe that a free state should offer asylum to the oppressed, and an example of virtue, sobriety, and fair dealing to all nations.
To believe that for the existence and perpetuity of such a state a man should be willing to give his whole service, in property, in labor, and in life.
First Americanism Committee Our first Americanism Committee was authorized in Columbus in 1934. The members were Rear Admiral Harry G. Hamlet, Major General Amos A. Fries, Brigadier General Herbert Bliss, Doctor Bolivar J. Lloyd, Lt. Col. Charles L. Greenough, Lt. Victor E. Devereaux (Secretary), and Capt. John E. Pokorny (Chairman).
In that first year, the committee sent blank reports to the 93 chapters, and it received 32 replies. Five reported no activity, twelve reported some activity, fifteen reported commendable results. Some chapters reported that their members were active in Americanism work in the American Legion, Reserve Officers Association, or local National Defense Councils and that it was not necessary to participate also in the Sojourner patriotic effort. The committee took an admittedly narrow and selfish view on this. It stated that “one of the best ways to make the Sojourners well known, earn the respect of the public, and enlist new members is to take an active part, AS AN ORGANIZATION.”
One of the amusing highlights from the chapter reports was the statement by the Canal Zone chapter that “the entire population was under the U. S. Civil Service and needed no Americanizing.” Noteworthy among the chapters was Portland, Oregon, which established a well-organized “flying squadron” of 10 able speakers which attended Blue Lodge meetings each month and gave five minute talks on Americanism. The committee gave special commendation to Washington No. 3 for taking “a prominent part in every patriotic activity in our National Capitol (and adding) much prestige and dignity to the National Sojourners throughout the country.” The committee cited Detroit, Michigan (number four in population in the nation) and Bismarck, North Dakota as exemplifying the fact that no city is too large or too small for an all-out Sojourner effort in the field of Americanism.
In closing its first annual report, that Americanism Committee said this: “If the various chapters and the membership at large will take to heart and carry out the purposes of National Sojourners your Committee feels certain that Americanism will become a very important part of the work of each chapter and more than justify its existence.”
Americanism: A Sojourner Duty!
In the spring of 1955, our National President, Major Albert Houghton, said this on Americanism: “The future of our beloved country is the blending of ideals; personal, community, and national. That the nation of tomorrow may continue strong, loyal, and, unafraid with the same progressive spirit that has been manifested by the past generations, the foundations and footings we lay must be founded on real altruism an sound vision of realistic principles. Lead the youth of today in the paths of righteousness and fair dealing. Teach them well of those patriots of yesteryear who gave us our precious heritage. They must be made to understand that theirs is an obligation that must be maintained by blood and sweat and tears. Full understanding of the statement by Benjamin Franklin ‘You have a republic if you can keep it’ is paramount. The many chapter visits that have been my distinct privilege to enjoy, assures me that basically we are a nation of sound patriots. The one great fault is that we listen well.., agree in principle with everything said, and promptly relax and forget to go to work…!”
Through the years our National Presidents, to the man, have placed great emphasis on Americanism and patriotic programs. In spite of that emphasis some chapter programs are splendid, some mediocre, and some non-existent or unsatisfactory. Many years ago National President Admiral Homer N. Wallin (55-56) noted:
“So far as National Sojourners are concerned, there is a need and opportunity for inspired men to carry the message of [Americanism,] patriotism and brotherhood to a host of eligibles who await encouragement and explanation of the facts. Chapter leaders can stimulate recruitment efforts which will bring new members and at the same time produce new interest and activity at regular Chapter meetings. How to do it? One way is to emphasize what Sojourner membership stands for, and to explain the great commitment to a national need. These are covered quite well in our ‘PURPOSES’ and ‘PRONOUNCEMENT’. Let us regard and live up to them!”
Both our PURPOSES and PRONOUNCEMENT clearly set forth our Americanism mission are detailed below:
The Purposes of National Sojourners shall be to organize current and former members of the uniformed forces of the United States and Honorary Members, who are Master Masons, into Chapters, for the promotion of good fellowship among its members, for assisting such as may be overtaken by adversity or affliction, for cultivating Masonic ideals, for supporting all patriotic aims and activities in Masonry, for developing true patriotism and Americanism throughout the nation, for bringing together representatives of the uniformed forces of the United States (past and present) in a united effort to further the military needs of national defense, and for opposing any influence whatsoever calculated to weaken the national security.
National Sojourners believe in God as The Supreme Architect of the Universe.
We hold that political, economic and social problems are subsidiary to and ever separated from that steadfast belief in God.
We maintain that God must motivate man if present day problems are to be solved and we urge active participation in maintaining that Government for which our forefathers fought.
Sojourners, remember that George Washington once said, When we assumed the soldier we did not lay aside the citizen.
Just as our leaders have been saying all these years, Americanism is more than taking the talk — it is walking the walk by living for and by the Sojourner PURPOSES and PRONOUNCEMENT! How is your chapter Americanism program ? Do you have an active Americanism Committee and program? Do you have a flag team that has honed their presentation skills through practice? If not start now and use the resources provided on this page to become prepared to “Teach all Americans about America!” Being prepared brings to mind the following poem penned by Edwin Markham called “Preparedness”:
For all your days prepare,
And meet them ever alike:
When you are the anvil, bear it —
When you are the hammer, strike.
1. PURPOSE OF THIS WEBPAGE: This webpage is maintained by your National Americanism Committee to provide current information and resources for chapters in planning and executing their annual Americanism Program. Feedback and constructive comments to assist your National Americanism Committee in improving this webpage are encouraged and may be forwarded to the National Americanism Committee Chairman, Brother Paul Pennybacker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. AMERICANISM CHAIRMAN’S BULLETIN BOARD:
The Americanism Committee’s 2017 National Sojourners Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program at Freedoms Foundation Valley Forge conducted 6-9 July was another Patriotic and Inspirational event. Kudos to Camp Lejeune Chapter No. 329 for sponsoring fourteen (14) students, Harrisburg Chapter No.76 for sponsoring seven (7) students, Quantico Chapter No. 44 for sponsoring six (6) students, James Monroe Chapter No. 549 sent five (5) students, and Fayetteville Chapter No. 97 sent four (4). We had with us our National President Brother Ron Sortino and Lady Barbara; our National 1st Vice President Brother Bill Haynes; Past National Commander Brother Ray Vanden Berge; Past National President and Past National Commander Brother Bill Turner and Lady Patti and five additional chaperones. The students were presented “A Visit with Thomas Jefferson”; a discussion on free speech (First Amendment) with Dr. Bruce Murphy and unlawful search (Fourth Amendment) with Dr. Graham Lee. A mock supreme court trial with David Trevaskis of Pennsylvania Bar Association; the “Building of the Flag and Toast to the Flag” by Ben Franklin Chapter No. 16; a “General George Washington and Flag” Jeopardy type contest with prizes conducted by Brother Bill and Lady Patti Turner; a visit with John Adams; a Tour of Valley Forge; a group of students lead by Jessica performed the “state flag raising ceremony”; an inspiring lecture by Dan LeCLerc; a presentation concerning the Declaration of Independence by “James Wilson” and lastly on Sunday morning they were taken on a Tour of Historic Philadelphia.
Sadly, we only had forty-seven (47) students. This was same as last year so changing the week end did not improve attendance as we had hoped. This is a trend that we need to reverse. We need to work harder to increase the attendance. Some of the ideas to help increase the attendance would be to have Chapters work together to send a student i.e. one Chapter funds the tuition and another Chapter funds the transportation; keep in mind that Tuition scholarships are available for small Chapters who despite their hard work have only been able to raise the transportation funds; our 501c3 SAEF fund for donations from local businesses. Another detriment to our attendance is that students today have full schedules for the summer months. Chapters need to identify a potential student(s) early in the school year such as between opening of school year and holidays. As a suggestion the Chapters could, when they distribute the Essay Contest paperwork, also include the Student Packet Application Form. Chapters can also reemphasize the YCL when they present the JROTC medals. We need to reverse this trend and work hard this coming year so that we can see an attendance of at least 60-65 students. The facility can handle 100 students and I know we cannot get there overnight but we can certainly edge our way up each of the coming years. In order to keep the tuition costs down we need to increase our attendance so we can meet the fixed costs of the event without having to raise tuition.
Paul W. Pennybacker, Chairman
3. PLANNING YOUR CHAPTER ANNUAL AMERICANISM PROGRAM tutorial.
4. AMERICANISM PROGRAM RESOURCES:
AMERICANISM PROGRAMS are designed for presentation within our communities to government, civic, religious, fraternal, youth, historic preservation, and Masonic organizations. Note that with regard to the latter, AMERICANISM PROGRAMS become BRIDGE OF LIGHT PROGRAMS when they are presented as a Service to the Craft in a Grand Lodge, Blue Lodge, or Masonic Appendant Body setting. Refer to the BRIDGE OF LIGHT webpage located elsewhere in SOJOURNERS ONLY section of this website for more information.
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Flag Flag Flag Table Lodge Toast to the Flag Historic Flag Flag Retirement Colonial Ladies at the TableTYPE
Toast to the Flag
Colonial Ladies at the Table