The historic stone chapel of Mount Hebron was filled on Saturday morning, September 17 for the anniversary of the United States Constitution. Pastor Allan Morrison called the gathering to order and began the celebration. In attendance were citizens of our area, Scouting youth and parents, Heritage Girls, students from the Classical Conversations home school organization, churches and the public. This annual effort was led by the Reverend Larry W. Johnson for ten years. The goal is to educate children and adults about the importance of the United States Constitution and to preserve it.
The program included prayers for our nation, the American people, the Commonwealth of Virginia, emergency workers, teachers, schools, veterans, service members and caregivers. This is the tenth annual gathering among the graves of forty revolutionary soldiers buried at Mount Hebron, the most famous being Winchester Resident General Daniel Morgan, one of our nation’s founders. He is buried near the entrance to the cemetery among the soldiers with whom he fought.
The patriotic program included the pageantry of “E pluribus Unum” by the presentation of flags of the Revolution by youth to reenactor Charles Market portraying General George Washington. This was followed by the SAR Color Guard motorcade displaying our American flag representing the “union” of the individual states. “Of several”… “E pluribus Unum.
Reverend Larry Johnson was joined by members of Shenandoah Christian Alliance founder Dale Carpenter; the James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, keynote speaker, retired Army Colonel Mark Quimby; President of SAR Daniel Chip; Charles Markert, industrial consultant; Pastor James Boyette, Living Water Christian Church; Tom Reed, of the First Christian Church; and President and Pastor Alan Morrison of Christ Reigns Church.
The Reverend Larry W. Johnson is a retired Anglican bishop, educator, executive and known to many as the “Liberty Man”, known for his presentations on the Revolutionary War and telling his family’s Revolutionary War story .
Students and families were especially welcomed at this event for its unique educational experience.
By hosting this annual event, we remember the anniversary of our Constitution and bring to life those who wrote it, sacrificed for it, and died so that we would have a United States of America. An important goal is to teach the history of the Constitution and the events that changed the course of human history by empowering individuals to govern themselves. Ours is a Republic where the people govern themselves and have the oldest Constitution in the world.
Mount Hebron Cemetery is perhaps the most historic cemetery in our country where veterans of all wars are buried. Visiting the graves of 40 Revolutionary War soldiers on Constitution Day is an exciting experience.
After the 10:30 a.m. program, attendees walked out for a musket-firing salute and tapping. Next, the group traveled to General Daniel Morgan’s grave to learn more about him. The lecture under the century-old trees was given by Michael St. Jacques, a professor at Laurel Ridge Community College, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Wreaths were laid by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Black Robe Regiment representing all the patriotic ministers of the American Revolution who preached “freedom” from their pulpit, many of whom died for the “Glorious Cause”. They and General Morgan were honored with a second musket salute by the SAR guards at his beautiful headstone.
Each student and adult received a certificate attesting to their patriotism and their participation in these events. In addition, the young people received a pin representing the Constitution with a blue field and white stars.