By Woodrow Polston
Members of several local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution came together on Saturday to visit with Missouri State Regent Renee Pope Pace.
Members of the local Susanna Randolph Chapter were joined by the Pike County Chapter and the Hannibal Heritage Chapter. Pace was stopping in Vandalia on her 2023 Whistle Stop Tour. Northeast District Director and Susanna Randolph Regent Teresa Wenzel welcomed the members to the event.
“We welcome you here today to hear from our honored guest, State Regent Renee Pope Pace,” said Wenzel. “Before Pace speaks, we have a DVD that we would like to play for you all. Years ago, when the Vandalia Area Historical Society was first organized, they had a professional video made about the history of Vandalia. So, we are going to give you a tour of Vandalia’s history with this video,” she added.
After the video and refreshments, DAR members recited the Pledge of Allegiance, the Daughter’s Pledge to the Flag, and the American’s Creed. Afterward, Pace described the meaning behind her campaign theme.
“State regents have often selected themes for their administration, and I chose a train,” said Pace. “There are many reasons why I selected a train for my theme. Trains are a powerful force to be reckoned with. I think that DAR is a powerful force to be reckoned with. The idea of a train holds a sense of adventure. When we think of the men and women of the past who were heading west, we perceive that they had a sense of adventure and a strong work ethic. I think that they had a desire and dedication to making a life that was better than what they knew. I always tell my students that if they have those two characteristics, they will be just fine. We cannot know what problems we will face in the future, and we cannot be prepared for everything. However, if we develop these character traits, I believe that will be what gets us through,” she added.
Pace shared a program called For Whom the Whistle Blows. She described the various methods and procedures for train whistles with the group.
“There are specific combinations of long and short whistles that indicate different meanings. It is similar to Morse code and varies by country. In the United States, for example, if you hear a succession of short sounds, that indicates that there is an emergency. If you hear a long whistle, this would indicate that the train is approaching the station,” she added.
Pace encouraged members to share memories of train trips or stories involving trains from their past. One member shared that her father was a conductor and that hearing the whistle of a train today, it gives her a sense of calm and reassurance.
Other honored guests who were present included Anne Keller, honorary state regent; Jane Quade, Bowling Green Chapter regent; Casandra Johnston, Hannibal Heritage Chapter regent; Sandra Orf, Pike County Chapter regent.
The Missouri State Society Daughters of the American Revolution was organized in 1894. Anna Ewing Cockerell was Missouri’s first state regent, and organizing regent of the Elizabeth Benton Chapter, NSDAR, Kansas City, Mo., the oldest chapter in the state. Missouri currently has more than 5,600 members located throughout the state. For 126 years, Missouri Daughters have supported the objectives of the National Society. According to their website, “Daughters share a love of country and are bound together by a rich heritage that directly contributed to the privileges we enjoy today.”
The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism and preserving American history.