Local DAR chapter hears about Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Posted 6/5/24

MENDOTA – The Fort du Rocher Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met May 18 at the Graves-Hume Public Library.

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Local DAR chapter hears about Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Posted

MENDOTA – The Fort du Rocher Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met May 18 at the Graves-Hume Public Library.

The program was on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the close of World War I in 1918 there were 2,000 American casualties who could not be linked with a name. In France, they exhumed 8 soldiers and 4 substitutes. One of the caskets was selected to represent all the unknowns. Some French soil was placed in the casket so he’d always be on French soil. The body was placed in the Arlington Cemetery tomb Nov. 11, 1921. The top section of the tomb was completed April 12, 1932. After World War II and the Korean War, an unknown from each was placed at the base of the tomb. With the advances in DNA testing to help with identification, the tomb for Vietnam unknown remains empty.

Regent Donna Jungnickel presided over the meeting. She welcomed guests from the Rochelle and the Illini Chapters of the DAR. The American Indian minute was on Pocahontas. In addition to the stories heard in school, she was made to convert to Christianity. In 1616 she went to England to be presented as a ‘civilized savage’. She died at the age of 21.

Bev Richardson gave facts about Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day because they decorated the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers. Some of the earliest celebrations included the 1865 march of 10,000 freed slaves who marched to honor Union soldiers. The first formal observation was May 5, 1866.

The Patriot minute recognized Joseph Brown, a former slave. He was born into slavery in Rhode Island. He enlisted to serve as the replacement for his master’s son who wanted to enter privateering. In return, he would receive his freedom after the war. After the war, most freed slaves were asked to leave the area but he continued living in Rhode Island with his wife who was also a freed slaved. They owned and operated a tavern. Lucretia baked her “Joe Frogger” cookies which are still a staple in New England.

Under conservation, members learned that the Illinois state soil is Drummer silty clay loam. However, much of Illinois can thank Iowa for the rich soil that blew in on the west winds.

The Mendota chapter will host Lunch in the Park on Sept. 20

The next meeting will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 at the LaMoille Community Methodist Church.  The Fort du Rocher web page may be viewed at http://www.fortdurocherchapternsdar.com. Any woman over 18 years of age whose lineage traces back to a Revolutionary War patriot, who wishes to learn more about Daughters of the American Revolution is invited to attend the next meeting or go online to www.dar.org.