Posted by Robert Homann on May 31, 2017
Our speaker today was Ed Koeneman.  Ed is a member of the Mesa West Rotary Club and served as the club's president.  He is an electrical engineer who is teaching engineering classes at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. 
Ed's topic today is the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  He is president of the Palo Verde Chapter of the SAR located in the East Valley.  There are 35,000 members of SAR worldwide. The organization started in New York in 1876 but the SAR split off in 1889 to become a national organization. To be eligible for membership, one must prove descent from a Revolutionary War veteran or a person involved in some other direct way in the support of the Revolution. Genealogy tracking is helpful in providing proof. Ed is related to Sgt. James Johnson whose name appears on the rolls of the Continental Army at Valley Forge in 1777. 
The SAR promotes appreciation for military service and veterans.  They sponsor Honor Flights, they volunteer at VA hospitals, they support Junior ROTC at high schools and ROTC at colleges,  and they have a color guard in colonial uniforms that appear at veteran funerals and parades.
The SAR promotes knowledge of American history and heritage in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. One new project is a study of the recently-discovered papers of King George III of England who was king during the Revolution.  They hold essay contests for high school students, brochure contests for middle school students and poster contests for elementary students.  They go into schools dressed in military uniforms from the Revolution and present programs for school kids. The uniforms can cost as much as $1,500-$2,000 and authentic reproductions of weapons can cost as much as $3,000-$4,000.
Thanks Ed for a very interesting presentation.