Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why I Joined the Daughters of the American Revolution

This site is not an official NSDAR Web site, and the content contained herein does not necessarily represent the position of the NSDAR. The President General is the official spokesperson on issues that have not been addressed as policy of NSDAR.

Outside of work and grad school, I spend a good deal of my free time attending Daughters of the American Revolution events or working on DAR committee projects.  And yet I noticed recently that I have only *one* other post on this blog about DAR, from last year's state conference concerning paging.  I talked a little bit about membership, but not a lot.  The National Society website has tons of great information, but I wanted to share my personal experience and reasons for being an active member in this non-profit organization, as well as suggest ways you can take steps towards membership.

My DAR BFF and me

When I tell people I am a member of DAR, I often get a puzzled look, because there are SO many misconceptions about the organization.  People are surprised for the following reasons:  One, I'm visibly of Asian descent.  Two, I'm a socially liberal and independent woman.  Three, I'm on the younger side, at 30 years old.  I'm quick to address these perplexed folks!  I have discovered at least one Revolutionary Patriot on my father's side, with a couple more potentially in the works, so the fact that my mother is an immigrant just makes me all the more "American" and unique!  I also love that DAR attends naturalization ceremonies for people like my mother, to welcome them as newly-minted Americans.  Secondly, the DAR gets a bad rap based on some events that occurred decades ago.  And while not *every* lady in the DAR is necessarily the best ambassador or spokeswoman for the organization, as a whole I've found these women to be generous, patriotic, passionate, and diverse in experience.  Lastly, DAR isn't just for grey-haired wealthy ladies like the ones portrayed on Gilmore Girls.  It's an organization that supports endeavors in patriotism, education, and historic preservation.  It maintains one of the best genealogical libraries in the country in D.C.  It is HUGE in its reach, with over 177,000 members currently serving!  And it's FUN.  This year, at our state conference, the Juniors (under 35 members) put on a "decades" fashion show in celebration of the DAR's 125th anniversary.

I represented the 1960s.

But aside from the great networking and the opportunity to serve, I truly love the FRIENDSHIPS I've made in
DAR.  I've found ladies to be friends with across the state of Tennessee, and hopefully after Continental Congress in D.C. later this month, I'll have friends across the country!

I have hidden the faces of the under-18 pages for their privacy.

I was honored this year at our TN State Conference to serve as a Personal Page to our State Regent, the head of DAR for the state.  It was an incredible experience and opportunity to learn more about leadership in the organization.  Paging continues to be one of the most rewarding ways for Juniors to serve in DAR, because you get to see the inner workings of it all and commit yourself to (and envision!) being a part of its future.

So in case you were curious why I buy so much white clothing or why I commit to serving the DAR at the local level and beyond, now you know!  If you're interested in joining and think you have a Revolutionary ancestor, I strongly encourage you to visit a local chapter in your area.  That's all it takes to get started!

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