The Buffalonian off the Week: Deborah Stauring

By Karibu News

This week, Karibu News brings to you Deborah Stauring, Director of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), a far reaching, non-profit and nonpolitical volunteer women’s service organization with more than 100 years of tradition and more than 920,000 members admitted since its founding in 1890.

Karibu News: Dr. Stauring, thank you for welcoming us in this picturesque building [477 Delaware Ave.], really a symbolism of what your organization is about. Would you tell us a bit about DAR?

Dr. Stauring: We are the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), so we have to prove lineage back to a patriot who fought in the American Revolution; it is a women’s service organization and we have three pillars of focus: education, historical preservation and patriotism. The major part of patriotism is that we do veteran services such as services at Veteran hospitals or their cemeteries; and some events where we design nice flags for veterans’ events. This is the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War for us, there is something called the 50th anniversary commemorative partners. So we have event for educational purpose. We also make flags that are put on revolutionary war soldiers that were buried in forest lawn. Recently we had “The New Neighbor Symposium” in recognition of immigrants and refugees just trying to get some words out on the group and what we are doing. The DAR does have I think seven schools around the United States that serve under privileged children or those abused at home; they get educated to learn Americanism.

Who are you?

Me? I am a kind of a president or CEO of the organization, the committee reports to me as to what they are doing and we have twenty board members, incredible members. So, next year the board is kind of turning over and we will form a committee that will interview some of the members in order to know if they want to be members. We have 189 members at the moment just in this chapter.

How can an individual be a member of your organization?

Women who are members of DAR come from different backgrounds with a common bond to honor their ancestors’ role in American history by promoting the historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Any woman is welcomed to join the DAR if she can prove her lineage to an ancestor, either male or female, who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, or had materially aided the cause of the American independence through civil or patriotic service. So, we are only women…

Why only women?

Dr. Stauring: Because we are the D A U G H T E R S, hahahhahahahhaha (she laughed)…

I understand, but why?

Dr. Stauring: hahahah that is what it is. There is an organization called “The Sons of the American Revolution” as well. In a couple of times in a year we give out an outstanding cadet award to a young lady because we are the Daughters, and the Sons give to a man, and the American legion gives one to a young man. The cadet is in any of the military academies, they are not in college yet, they are still in high school. So we give awards. We have contests in schools, good citizen contests. You have to write what it means to be a citizen. So we do those kinds of things. We also raise funds every other year. We are national, we have our library in Washington D.C. and have, we a museum there.

You are trying to preserve a part of Americanism and American history. How do you deal with the influx of refugees and immigrants who bring their cultures, which sometimes can conflict with or overtake the Americanism that you are trying to preserve?

You are right that could be seen as a conflict but I think more of our purpose would be to teach Americanism so that free will, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights can be learned…that is a really good question, I think we would do class perhaps to teach what the constitution means, just what it means to be American rather than conflicting with any other culture because after all that is what America is, the fabric of America is just everybody.

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