Knights Gather in Washington

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8/1/2010

Delegates arrive in the U.S. capital city for the 128th Supreme Convention

Once again, Washington, D.C., the city whose memorials, museums and public spaces enshrine the history of the United States, is host to the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention. The nation’s capital previously hosted Supreme Conventions in 1932, 1985, 1993 and 2003.

As delegates gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 128th Supreme Convention, the Knights of Columbus honored fallen soldiers. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Order’s involvement with the District of Columbia began with the enthusiastic support of Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore when the first D.C. council was chartered in 1897. Since then, the number of councils in the district has increased to 19. There are many examples of the Knights’ presence in Washington. The Order urged the U.S. Congress to establish the Columbus Memorial at Union Station in 1912, and a statue of Cardinal Gibbons was erected in conjunction with the Order’s golden anniversary in 1932.

Celebrating History

With such a vibrant national history celebrated in Washington, there are no shortage of sites to see and places to visit for Knights and their families. There have been more than a dozen different tours — from “D.C. in a Day” to “Washington after Dark” — made available to visitors with the assistance of the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. state councils.

In addition to many historical and cultural sites commemorating U.S. history, such as Mt. Vernon and the national memorials, a “Catholic Heritage Tour” features several Catholic sites in northeast Washington, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Franciscan Monastery. And there’s even more to see, according to Rob Bourque, a member of Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle Council 11302 and the convention’s tour director. “All of the Smithsonian Museums are free, and so is the zoo, which is right across the street,” he said. “Instead of having tours to those places, we’re just encouraging people to go.”