July 2020 Message from the President

Utah SAR Compatriots and Associates,

Wow! I don’t know about you, but the year 2020 certainly hasn’t unfolded as I was anticipating at the start of the year. And, although I had listened to and read the news about some new virus coming out of China, I had no idea during those first reports just how wrong my anticipations would be. When I heard the news that the NBA suddenly suspended the season indefinitely after Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 (March 11th), it became, for me, something like the “Shot Heard Around the World”. I began thinking about the immediate impact this action would have on all those whose livelihoods depended on the income generated by a single NBA game. And then there’s the ripple effect that would hit those who, in some way, provided support for each game. A day or two later I discovered that I was no longer allowed to fill my big mug at the local 7-11. Ouch!! Now I suddenly realized that COVID-19 was destined to have a personal impact on my life, and on the activities of my family. I’m sure that many of you had similar kinds of thoughts back in mid-March. Now we’re into July, and things have not returned to “normal”. How long will our lives be impacted by something we can’t see without the aid of a powerful microscope?

On a bright note, I will say that our year for the Utah Society SAR got off to a good start. We had plans in the works for our George Washington birthday commemoration in February; we planned early for our annual membership meeting and awards banquet that was to take place in May. In January, I had the opportunity to accompany 1st VP Doug McGregor to the home of Utah Compatriot Captain Eugene Walling, USN-Retired, to present him with the NSSAR Service Certificate and Service Pin for his 60-years of faithful membership. We then attended a ceremony in Plain City to honor five Eagle Scouts and present them with NSSAR Eagle Scout certificates for their accomplishments. In February, I was with our Color Guard as they did a splendid job of presenting the Colors for the Utah Grizzly’s game on Presidents’ Day. And while, at first, we were challenged in finding a location for our George Washington birthday commemoration banquet, we found the Riverton Community Center available and had a great evening celebrating with His Excellency General George Washington (Gary Vandolzer), and several of the daughters of the Utah DAR. Also, I was in the process of securing a trio of young men to be honored, as our guest speakers, for our annual awards banquet in May when it seems everything in the country came to a sudden halt. To maintain the integrity of our State Society Constitution, the officers decided that we’d conduct our annual member meeting using Zoom, since we couldn’t gather in person and, while I would have enjoyed having more members participate, we accomplished our annual business of electing new officers (see the list on this page). I have now come to realize that Video Conferencing would become a more integral part of my life and my activities. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?!?

In addition to these events, there are some items of special recognition that I will make note of. The 2019-2020 Utah SAR JROTC top cadet State Award was presented to Cadet Major Faith Magalong, of the Utah Military Academy-Hill Field, Riverdale. According to our compatriot, Major Kit Workman, Cadet Major Magalong is “an amazing young lady, who is a pre-candidate for the Air Force Academy.” She also came in third place in the NSSAR JROTC competition. In addition, it’s a real pleasure for me to announce that Utah SAR was awarded first place for its newsletter, the Utah Patriot, in the small society competition receiving the Flathers Award. This announcement was to be officially made at the Annual SAR Congress in Richmond, which was canceled due to COVID-19.

Looking forward, we do have plans to support this year’s Freedom’s Light in Bountiful in September, held in commemoration of Constitution Day, and have our Annual Awards Banquet the following weekend. Please check our website for more details as they become available.

I am grateful to serve, once again, as your President. I appreciate your support and your willingness to be an active member of our Society. And, while 2020 has not turned out to be the kind of year I had looked forward to when the clock chimed the beginning of the new year, I have faith that we will emerge from this pandemic ready to move forward and continue to support the goals and ideals of this Society and of this great Nation.

Yours in Liberty,

Bill Simpson
President, Utah Society
Sons of the American Revolution