Dedicated, respectively, to the people and places integral to the story of our nation’s founding and independence, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the American Battlefield Trust share a commitment to find tangible and lasting ways to remember that critical period in history. The latest instance of their collaborative work will see the establishment of DAR’s 250-tree memorial grove, the DAR Pathway of the Patriots, on Trust-protected battlefield land. The two organizations are initiating this joint vision with a ceremonial tree planting on June 7 at the Old Custom House in Yorktown, Va.
The celebration will be presided over by DAR President General Denise VanBuren and Trust Vice Chair Mary Abroe. They will be joined by leadership from the Virginia DAR, the DAR Comte de Grasse Chapter and representatives of local DAR Chapters. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and it is open to the public.
“Our Society is dedicated to honoring the memory of the men and women who achieved American independence, including 250 such Patriots who will be remembered through this legacy project. We are especially pleased to plant this ceremonial tree in honor of General George Washington, a native of Virginia who served as our first Commander in Chief and was the illustrious victor here,” said VanBuren. “Just as the struggle to win our nation’s independence culminated at Yorktown, it is altogether fitting that this gift to the nation takes root here in order to pay tribute to those who ultimately endured eight long years of war to win our liberties.”
“Our two organizations are united in understanding the power of tangible links to the past,” said Abroe. “From physical landscapes to family legacy, there are ties that bind us across the centuries to the essence of the American story.”
The DAR Pathway of the Patriots was first envisioned in 2019, and DAR members rallied to the plan, with individual chapters and members enthusiastically stepping forward to sponsor trees in memory of individual Revolutionary War participants. As the relationship between the two organizations has deepened, the concept evolved to embrace the Trust’s place-based mission through a grove honoring America’s first citizen soldiers on one of the battlefields where many of them fought.
Yorktown, the place most synonymous with the Continental Army’s victory in the Revolutionary War, is an ideal location for this ceremonial planting. Not only does the Comte de Grasse Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution own the Old Custom House within the historic town, but the Trust’s most expensive Revolutionary War acquisition is located on the Yorktown battlefield.
The two organizations are collaborating in other ways, pledging to work with federal and state governments and other like minded organizations to secure the protection of an additional 2,500 acres of Revolutionary War battlefield land during the 250th anniversary period and creating an online gateway that brings to life the fascinating people and places of the Revolutionary era by showcasing the diverse viewpoints and experiences of those who witnessed the dawn of American liberty.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With nearly 190,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 54,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War.