SSAWV “HYBRID” NATIONAL CONVENTION
[James McBryant, National President]
At our 2019 Convention in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, we accepted an invitation from the
Egbert-Wetherill-Reed Camp #167 of Kentucky to host the 2020 Convention. At that time, none of us
could have imagined the effect of the COVID -19 pandemic on our society.
After much deliberation, the Council of Administration settled on the idea of a “hybrid”
Convention, allowing those who felt comfortable meeting in person to proceed with attending as
invited by Camp 167. All other members were invited to attend via video conference. We had 18
members and one visitor in attendance at the hotel conference room in Wilder, Kentucky, and
roughly 10, between SSAWV Members and Daughters of ’98, on video conference. I believe the
Convention went well, considering this was the first attempt at a video conference for the
Highlights of the meeting included the passage of an amendment to our By-Laws, allowing
Members at Large voting rights at the Convention. This will be enacted at our 2021 National
Convention, with the hope that we will see greater participation from our Members at Large in
future Conventions. We also adopted an official resolution dealing with the issue of removal of
monuments and memorials. This resolution complements a resolution adopted at our
81st National Convention in Crewe, Virginia. Both statements are posted on the SSAWVHQ website
[see "This 'n That" page]. I encourage members to read these official statements, and if asked the SSAWV position on monuments and memorials, be prepared to direct the attention of the interested person to these declarations.
We also elected a new 3-year Trustee, Jim Kiger of the Egbert-Wetherill-Reed Camp. We look
forward to Trustee Kiger’s input and counsel in the years ahead.
Daughters of ’98 were well represented as video attendees at the Convention. National Fort
Captain, Karen Burkhimer, gave a very informative report of the Daughters’ activities over the
past year. As an organization, the Daughters are making good progress and I would encourage
all SSAWV members to assist them in any way possible, particularly by encouraging friends and
family to apply for membership.
As a part of the proceeding of the Convention in session, several persons were recognized with
awards for achievement over the past year. The Daughters of ’98 presented 3 certificates:
1. The “Berna Reinewald” Award, presented to Ms. Belinda Loo (recognizes performance
and contribution to the Daughters of ’98 organization) 2. The “Dr. Anita Newcomb Magee Award”, presented to Ms. Eileen Steele (recognizes volunteerism and attention to veterans history in genealogy and events) and 3. The “Excellence Award”, presented to John Sims, SSAWV PNP (recognizes a member of
the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans who has selflessly supported and helped the Daughters of ’98 to survive).
National President of SSAWV also recognized three individuals with awards: 1. The “Hiker Award for Outstanding Dedication” was announced for Mr. Patrick McSherry (in recognition for the work in graves registration and continued management of the SpanAm Centennial website). 2. The “Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright Award for Camp Reclamation” was announced for Brother Glen Roosevelt (in recognition of his outstanding work in restoring the Colonel Andrew S. Rowan Camp #117 of California).
3. The “Colonel Theodore Roosevelt Award for Literary Achievement” went to Brother
Greg Eanes (in appreciation for his literary contributions to the awareness and
preservation of history of the SpanAm period).
As National President, I am extremely grateful to all who helped make the “hybrid” Convention
possible. Our host Camp had prepared the typical two-days of activities we usually enjoy, and
some who attended in person were able to enjoy those in part. More on these activities will be
coming in an issue of "The National Son.." Just a note on this topic, our host Camp President,
Brother Bernie O’Brien, allowed us an after-hours visit to the James A. Ramage Civil War
Museum in Ft. Wright, Kentucky. This is an amazing little museum with an impressive array of
artifacts and displays. If you plan to be in the area, reach out to our Brother for information on
hours. It will be well worth your time!
All things considered; I believe the Convention went well. My only disappointment was that we
were not all able to attend in person. Sharing the site visits, business sessions, memorial service,
and meals, are the things that make the Convention a real pleasure to attend. I anxiously
anticipate an end to the present social restrictions, and a return next year to a full-schedule, in-
person National Convention! We have accepted the invitation of Fighting Joe Wheeler Camp
#14 to meet in 2021 for our 85th National Convention in Huntsville, Alabama; dates will be
announced early in 2021. See you there!