J. Michael Tomme, Sr.
NSSAR, National Color Guard Commander
I hope each had a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a great New Year’s Day. Thank you to all who have contributed making this issue of the SAR ColorGardsman a success. Since the last edition, we have held ceremonies at Yorktown and the Battle of Great Bridge in Norfolk, VA with the President General in attendance at both. I would like to thank him for his support.
My wife Cilla, the Color Guard “Den Mother” as you have fondly named her, has traveled with me to take part in many Color Guard activities, meeting many new Color Guardsman. I would like to thank each of you for your dedication, support and friendship. You have made us feel welcome where ever we have attended. To those I have known many years, you continue to amaze me with your support. The growth of your State Color Guard units and the National Color Guard has shown with more turning out for new and existing national events.
At Congress more new faces joined us for the first time even with the challenge of the heat. I am proud of such a large turnout and would like to thank you for attending. We had a once a life time event – the 225th Anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution with 109 guardsman from around the country participate and, for the first time, our ladies dressed in Colonial attire joined us. What a sight to see all the flags blowing in the wind with all of the ladies marching with us on the green in front of Independence Hall. Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend and to Jim Willis, Bob Bowen and the Philadelphia Continental SAR Chapter for making this happen.
We again held the vigil at the Washington Tomb at Mount Vernon. Everything started peacefully with groups of folks and children being amazed at the Color Guard in uniform. Many pictures and questions were taken. However our time was cut short when a tornado came through and all were sent home. A few minutes later, the President General and several color guardsmen saw the same thing just prior to laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington.
Kings Mountain and Battle of Point Pleasant fell on the same weekend. Turn out at each was great even with the division of troops. Color Guard units took part in Veterans Day events around the country and I know that the veterans and their families were appreciative. President General Leishman and First Lady Janet joined us at Great Bridge in Norfolk, VA. Fox TV videoed us marching at this event. A week or two later chapter and state color guard units took part in Wreaths Across America.
I find it hard to list everything. Remember you are the most visible part of the NSSAR. I know that each of you swell up with pride when someone walks up to you and says thank you for being here and making this event special. I would again like to thank everyone from the newest color guard member to the most seasoned one. You have made my job as commander easy because each of you not only honor your Patriot, but someone else’s Patriot that you did not even know.
Yours in Patriotism,
J. Michael “Mike” Tomme, Sr.
Note: See page ten of the publication for the article on the Massachusetts society.