Natchez DAR chapter going for world record

Published 12:01 am Monday, April 25, 2016

NATCHEZ — Members of the Natchez Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution hope to contribute to its national organization’s goal of breaking a world record this June.

DAR State Chaplain Mary Willard said she recently received more than 100 letters from Trinity Episcopal School middle and high school students. Willard said she would love to see Natchez get involved further as the national DAR organization looks to break the Guinness Book of World Records figure of mailing 10,000 letters in a month to military service men and women.

“I just thought it was a worthwhile thing,” Willard said. “We have men and women in Afghanistan, Iraq and military all over that we are just not hearing about.”

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Kaitlyn Lees, a 16-year-old sophomore at Trinity whose grandfather was in the military, said she wanted to participate because she thought the soldiers would enjoy hearing people back home are thankful they are fighting for the country’s freedom.

“Some of our soldiers may not get letters from friends or family members, and I bet they get lonely,” she said. “I think it is good to let them know that there are people thinking about them.”

Trinity eighth-grader KaLeigh Davidson, 13, whose great-grandfather and great-great grandfather served in the armed forces, said she thought the soldiers would appreciate a pick-me-up during a stressful situation.

“These people are fighting for their lives and for our lives,” she said. “I know sometimes they get depressed, and I think it is good for us to show them that they are appreciated.”

DeSanto Rollins, 14, an eighth grader, said he was glad he got the opportunity from his teacher, Millie Burke, to write to soldiers.

“I think it helps them to know we care about them,” he said. “And that we will always be there for them.”

Burke, a Trinity Middle School social studies teacher, said Willard, who was once a librarian at the school, brought the idea to high school English teacher Gwen Young. Young asked Burke to involve her classes.

“We thought it was an important thing to do,” Burke said. “It gave the children a chance to share a little about themselves and their lives. Many of them have relatives in the military who have served or who are serving now.”

Individuals may only personally write one letter each. Every letter needs three components: a greeting, original message of support/appreciation and a closing with a signature.

All letters must be placed in an unsealed envelope that is already stamped.

Willard said she’d gladly collect them from the community and take them to the DAR’s Congress in Washington D.C. this June.

For more information, call Willard at 601-445-4705.