On June 11, 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution participated in the commemoration of the 246th anniversary of the Virginia Bill of Rights held at Gunston Hall, sponsored by the chapter George Mason of the Virginia Society. RAS. George Mason authored ten articles, three additional articles were incorporated by the committee, and one additional article was added by the Fifth Virginia Convention.

Virginia Color Guard prepares to march. Left to right: Dale Corey, Pete Davenport, Jeff Thomas, Paul Christensen, Charles Jameson, Ken Bonner, Ken Morris, Barry Schwoerer and Jim Cordes. (Photos courtesy of Anita Bonner)

In 1776, the colonies in America were frustrated by the tyrannical rule of the British government. As a result, they replaced the legislatures set up by Britain with extralegal governing bodies. Among these was the Virginia Convention which met in Williamsburg, Virginia. This Convention took many groundbreaking actions, however, one of its most important was the establishment of a committee to draft a constitution and bill of rights for the present state of Virginia.

The Washington Tattoo led the procession to the cemetery.

In May, George Mason submitted a first draft of the rights of citizens described in earlier works such as the English Bill of Rights. The Declaration can be considered the first modern constitutional protection of the individual rights of citizens of the American colonies. He rejected the notion of privileged political classes or hereditary offices such as members of Parliament and the House of Lords described in the English Bill of Rights. The document was drafted in 1776 to proclaim the inherent rights of men, consisting of sixteen articles with rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit and attainment of happiness and security. It describes the government as the servant of the people and lists its separation of powers between the administration, the legislature and the judiciary, becoming the principles on which a government should be run. This bill of rights was made by the representatives of the people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention to proclaim what rights belong to them, and to their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government. This declaration was unanimously adopted by the Convention of Virginia on June 12, 1776, and became the basis and foundation of the government of Virginia. It influenced a number of later documents, including the Declaration of Independence later in 1776 and the Bill of Rights in 1789.

Virginia Color Guard, left to right: Dale Corey, Pete Davenport, Marc Robinson, Jeff Thomas, Tom Hamill, Ken Bonner, Jim Cordes, Charles Jameson, Andrew Mills, Jack Mills and Barry Schwoerer.

The ceremony was hosted by George Mason, President Fritz Barth and Past President Ken Morris. Participating SAR Chapters include George Mason (GM), Colonel James Wood II (CJWII), Sgt Maj John Champe (SJC), Colonel William Grayson (CWG), Culpeper Minutemen (CMM), Fairfax Resolves (FR), George Washington (GW ) and Williamsburg (WMB). Michael Elston, Chancellor General represented the National Society, Bill Greaf, 2nd Vice President represented the Virginia Society. District V Director Dr. Sharla Rausch represented the Daughters of the American Revolution and President Will Elston represented the Virginia Children of the American Revolution.

Nine DAR Chapters came to honor representatives from a CAR society of the War of 1812 Society, the Order of Founders and Patriots of Virginia, the sons and daughters of Virginia’s Founding Fathers, and daughters Americans of the War of 1812. present for the wreath presentations. The Virginia State Color Guard was led by Commander Dale Corey with members from seven chapters. They were led in procession by a quartet from the Washington Tattoo, consisting of three fifes and a drum. A laying of wreaths at the burial site has been held to honor the memory of George Mason.

After the ceremony, a three-shot musket salute was fired by the Virginia Society Color Guard. The musket team led by Dale Corey (CJWII) included Ken Bonner (SJC), Paul Christensen (CJWII), Jim Cordes (FR), Marc Robinson (CJWII) and Barry Schwoerer (SJC). Participating additional guards were Pete Davenport (GM), Tom Hamill (CMM), Charles Jameson (CMM), Andrew Mills (CWG), Jack Mills (CWG), Ken Morris (GM) and Jeff Thomas (FR).