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Flag presentation a banner event for Mon Valley DAR chapter

| Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Taking part in the flag presentation by the Monongahela Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at The Back Porch in Speers are (from left) Mike Komlos, adjutant of Post 659 of The American Legion in Belle Vernon; Greg Keller, manager of the restaurant, and Mary Holets, chaplain of the Monongahela Valley Chapter.
Symbolizing the transition of leadership with the Monongahela Valley Chapter of the NSDAR are (from left) Mica Van Fossen, newly elected Regent; Nancy Racunas, Past Regent of the National Trail Chapter in Washington, who presided over installation of new officers; and Nancy Komlos, Immediate Past Regent.
The Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the national anthem followed the flag presentation by the Monongahela Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution outside The Back Porch in Speers.

One of the basic tenets of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Monongahela Valley Chapter is to foster patriotic citizenship.

That point was emphasized as the Monongahela Valley Chapter held its annual Flag Day luncheon at The Back Porch restaurant in Speers.

“This is our major event each year,” said Mary Holets of Monongahela, immediate past parliamentarian of the organization. “The American flag is symbolic of the goals and ideals of the DAR and its mission to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved independence for our nation.”

Holets accentuated her message by presenting Greg Keller, manager of The Back Porch, with a commemorative flag in “appreciation of all you have done for us.”

“We have held many events here over the years, and you have always been great hosts,” Holets, a 50-year member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, told Keller. “You have always made us feel at home, and we are deeply grateful to you.”

Keller thanked the DAR and said the flag will fly “with great pride on our part” from the front porch of the restaurant.

“It will serve as a constant reminder of the many ways the Daughters of the American Revolution Monongahela Valley Chapter perpetuates the true meaning of patriotism,” Keller said.

Mike Komlos, adjutant of Post 659 of The American Legion in Belle Vernon, also spoke during the flag presentation.

“This is a very significant gesture by the DAR, and it is my pleasure and privilege to be part of the presentation of Old Glory, a most distinctive symbol of the United States,” Komlos said.

Keller and Komlos attached the flag to the pole at the front of the restaurant and drew a hearty and appreciative round of applause from the audience gathered on the lawn as they placed it on display.

Letty Tregembo led the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem.

Guest speaker Linda Muller, instructional specialist for the Teaching Primary Sources (TPS) program at California University of Pennsylvania, also lauded the Monongahela Valley Chapter for its “never-ending efforts to promote patriotism in so many ways.”

“The DAR and our TPS program of the Library of Congress share a core mission – that is to be an advocate of patriotism and secure our nation's future through education and awareness,” Muller said.

Muller said primary sources include original documents and other objects of history provided by first-hand eyewitnesses. Secondary sources are text books, encyclopedias and biographies.

“All are important to teachers in their efforts to instill an interest among their students to research history and solve the puzzles of the past,” she said. “In doing so, we become part of the continuum of education and the children learn that they can become part of history. Children must become interested in the complexities of America's past and how it helps develop the future. The DAR does a great job in this respect with all people.”

Nancy Komlos, Regent of the Monongahela Valley Chapter since 2010, welcomed the Flag Day luncheon attendees.

Among the special guests at the event was Nancy Racunas, past regent of the National Trail Chapter of the DAR in Washington. She administered the oaths of office to new officers of the Mon Valley Chapter who will serve through 2016. They are: Mica Van Fossen, regent; Leslie Yoder, vice regent; Holets, chaplain; Sally Goodboy, treasurer; Dolores Alekson, secretary; Carolyn Barger, corresponding secretary; Nancy Komlos, registrar; Tregembo, historian; and Beth Licciardello, librarian.

The Monongahela Valley Chapter of the NSDAR was organized on Feb. 28, 1920, by 22 women from California, Charleroi, Donora, Monongahela, Monessen and Belle Vernon in the library of the California Normal School (now California University of Pennsylvania). Membership now includes women from throughout the area.

Ron Paglia is a freelance writer.

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