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Group holds tribute for Washington on Tuesday
Sons of the American Revolution to celebrate first president's 279th birthday
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Commemoration of 279th birthday of President George Washington

What: The Lyman Hall Chapter of the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution will present a brief ceremony honoring Washington.
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Washington Monument in Gainesville at the corner of Green and Washington streets
How much: Free
Contact: Ed Rigel Sr. at

Ed Rigel Sr. concludes some of his notes with “Kind Patriotic Regards.”

He is president of the Lyman Hall Chapter of the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution. And this week he’ll join fellow sons in waiting until Tuesday to honor the occasion most of the nation will celebrate today: Presidents Day.
George Washington’s birthday is Feb. 22, after all.

“It’s tradition,” Rigel said. “It seemed to be reverent to do it on his birthday as opposed to Presidents Day, which has in all honesty become more of a legislated holiday.”

As the leader of Gainesville’s Sons of the American Revolution chapter, Rigel organized the annual ceremony that commemorates the birth of the United States’ first president and Revolutionary War hero 279 years ago. The 5 p.m. Tuesday event will take place at the Washington Monument in Gainesville at the corner of Green and Washington streets.

Local elected officials, law enforcement and a host of participants from chapters throughout the region have been invited.

Many of the visiting members will participate with the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution’s color guard, which Rigel leads.

Eagle Scout Mitchell McIntire, winner of the Lyman Hall Chapter’s Eagle Scholarship, is among the special guests. He will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rigel will give a brief talk on Washington’s leadership abilities during a time when his officers doubted him at the end of the war.

“We want to let people know there was a group of individuals who contributed significantly, risked their lives, fortunes and well being to establish our country, that it just didn’t happen,” Rigel said. “We need to be aware of and appreciate the sacrifices that all those people made on our behalf.”

Gwinnett County resident Terry Manning is a past-president of Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution and its current chairman of the education committee. In his various roles with the association, he has promoted its mission through historical research, education and participation in a number of patriotic events in Georgia.

It doesn’t matter how many folks attend a ceremony, he said. Bringing attention to U.S. history, its presidents and especially the country’s founding is what inspires anyone who takes time to attend such an event.

“You can’t put a size on patriotism. When the stars and stripes are up there at the head of the column, flying in the wind, you get that same rush of pride in your country, whether there are 20 people there or 2,000,” Manning said.