Honored at Last: Revolutionary War Patriots Remembered in Alexandria Graveside Event

The George Washington Chapter Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution gathered to honor fallen American Revolutionary War soldiers John Longden, John Sloan, and Joseph Smith.

The Sons of the American Revolution graveside for the ceremony on Wilkes Street.
(Photo: Grace Billups Arnold)

Alexandria, VA – The George Washington Chapter Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution gathered at 11 a.m. under a cloudy sky on Saturday, October 24 to honor fallen American Revolutionary War soldiers John Longden, John Sloan, and Joseph Smith in the Trinity United Methodist Church Cemetery, 1503 Wilkes Street.

Jay Henn, president of the George Washington Chapter led the welcoming and Reverend Grace Han, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church led the invocation.

“We try to do four veterans a year but with the pandemic it’s been tough,” said Jay Henn, chapter president. “So many ceremonies have been cancelled, and so many heroes are forgotten. The GWSAR, however, has a large database which they are utilizing to expand their records of fallen soldiers of the Revolution and honor more and more men.”

Each marked grave received an American flag and an SAR emblem as Richard Rankin, chapter treasurer, led the spectators in the SAR pledge. The graves of the three soldiers are arbitrarily dispersed throughout the cemetery, just as these men almost were in history. But as Alexandrians came together to honor them, they will be united in posterity.

American Revolutionary War patriot John Longden’s headstone was recognized with a flag and official remembrance, as were two other Alexandria graves: Joseph Smith and John Sloan.
(Photo: Grace Billups Arnold)

The ceremony was concluded with a benediction by Donald Reynolds, chapter chaplain, who reminded spectators and those included in the ceremony to be humbled by these markers and encouraged to uphold the principles for which the men fought.

To see the grave markings of these three heroes, and numerous other marked heroes, visit the Alexandria National Cemetery on Wilkes Street, open to the public for all forms of remembrance.

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