A new plaque hangs in the Visitor Center vestibule at Washington Crossing Historic Park and its significance is…well…significant.
The Pennsylvania State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (PSSDAR) placed the plaque as part of a national initiative to raise public awareness for the men and women who helped achieve American independence. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution hopes that at least one marker will be placed in every state in advance of the 250th birthday of the United States in 2026.
“The project is the epitome of what DAR stands for,” says Judi Biederman, park volunteer and Regent of the local Washington Crossing DAR Chapter. “The plaque is patriotic in nature and recognizes the men and women who fought for independence. It serves to educate everyone who walks by. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an honor for our local chapter to host the state ceremony unveiling the plaque.”
According to Biederman, PSSDAR identified Washington Crossing Historic Park as a place it wanted to recognize with a plaque in Pennsylvania. Knowing her passion and involvement with both the local DAR chapter and the park, the state organization reached out to Biederman and asked her to serve as the liaison to make the project a reality.
“Everyone at the park was very receptive and supportive,” says Biederman. “We all worked together – the local DAR chapter, the Friends group, park employees, state staff and the state Division of Conservation and Natural Resources – to make it happen.”
The unveiling ceremony was hosted by the Washington Crossing DAR Chapter on November 13. PSSDAR Regent Elizabeth Watkins served as mistress of ceremonies, invocation was offered by the PSSDAR chaplain Christyn Olmstead, the Washington Crossing Fife and Drum Corps played, and former park manager Marisa Sprowles was guest speaker of the day. George Washington (portrayed by Friends President John Godzieba) even made a special appearance along with three fully costumed reenactors showing their support for the significance of the plaque. Members of the Washington Crossing Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) assisted with the event.
“There were eight PSSDAR state officers and the state C.A.R. president in attendance at the unveiling in addition to U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Representative Wendi Thomas, and Upper Makefield Board of Supervisors Chair Tom Cino and member Tim Thomas,” says Biederman. “I’m so proud of the support we received. This is one of only two such plaques to be placed in Pennsylvania by the PSSDAR. It’s a true honor.”
DAR is a service organization welcoming any woman, 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a Patriot of the American Revolution. DAR’s mission is to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism.