Our Society’s mission statement is eloquently expressed in the preamble to our 1883 Constitution, but it can be summed up in three words: history; patriotism; camaraderie. This past month, we fulfilled all three.
On April 17, 2018, we hosted a special presentation, reception, and dinner, for The Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, General Denis Mercier, who is also a five-star general of the French Air Force. General Mercier spoke to a sold out crowd about NATO’s structure, and how it is approaching the changing nature of conflict, in a world or robots, artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, and challenges to the rules based system for avoiding catastrophe through strength and anticipation.
He stressed the fundamental principles set forth in the NATO Treaty, of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law, which are the same as those espoused by our American Revolutionary forefathers. The NATO Treaty is one of successors to the American Revolution. After seventy years since the Treaty was entered into, General Mercier said he would not change a thing.
The event attracted a diverse crowd of interested person, which to my delight included four past Presidents, Bob Mckay, Bob Lunney, Larry Simpson, and John Mauk Hilliard. The reception was catered by Hudson Markets (via Adam Hess), who provided everything but the wine and Samuel Fraunces® Ale.
Six days later, on April 23, 2018, we had our April Stated Meeting, our celebration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and our annual Fraunces Tavern® Museum Book Awards. We formally inducted two new members, Christopher Matteson and Charles McKenzie, and presented a fifty-year membership medal to past President Adm. Robert Lunney, and displayed the Bedford Minuteman Flag, bearing the slogan, Vince Aut Morire.
Our book award prize-winner Russell Shorto was present to receive the award for Revolution Song, as was the editor for Harlow Giles Unger, Robert Pigeon, who received an honorable mention for First Founding Father. The family of Thomas Fleming was also present to receive a lifetime achievement award for a tireless author of nearly fifty books about the Revolution. Layton Sanders, who keeps track of such things, declared the event a “best ever” for that particular event.
Many thanks to Ken Chase who heads our book award committee, who personally reads at least two-dozen books each year, as well as our staff – Jacqueline Masseo who oversees the book award process, and Colyn Hunt, who ably stage managed two events in one week.
Closing out the month, our Color Guard presented the colors at the annual reenactment of the inauguration of George Washington at Federal Hall. Huzzah!