International Family of The Year

2013 To Be a Patriot Awards

The “To Be A Patriot” Award annually recognizes three local patriotic programs conducted by Fourth Degree assemblies. The 2012-2013 award winners are:

Abraham Lincoln Assembly 235 in Lake County, Indiana, County-Wide Memorial Crucifix Restoration Project - in the 1950s and ’60s, members of the Abraham Lincoln Assembly erected and dedicated seven life-size crucifixes throughout Lake County, Ind., as memorials for those who died in the service of their country during World War II and the Korean War. Over the decades, the crucifixes were damaged by the elements and vandalism. Last year, the assembly began a project to restore and rededicate the crucifixes, to the appreciation of their community and attention of the local media. More than 30 Knights collectively contributed 280 hours of volunteer service to the effort.

General S.J. Moylan Assembly 1057 in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, Autumnfest Parade, Members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation - a group of atheist activists based in Madison, Wisc. — challenged the Place Jolicoeur Monument in Woonsocket, R.I. The monument features a Latin cross and honors William Jolicoeur, who was killed in World War I, and other fallen veterans. As part of the Autumnfest Parade, members of General Moylan Assembly displayed a replica of the Place Jolicoeur Monument on a float, which featured the slogan: “It’s Freedom of Religion. Not Freedom From Religion.” The float was greeted enthusiastically by parade spectators and received the Mayor’s Trophy. This effort in defense of religious liberty received widespread support from the local community and attracted the attention of local media. Thirty members of General Moylan Assembly contributed 40 hours of volunteer service in support of this project.

Fr. Hennepin Assembly 1831 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Polish Pilgrimage to Niagara on the Lake - members of Fr. Hennepin Assembly participated in an annual pilgrimage to Niagara on the Lake, the site of a World War I military camp where Canadian and American soldiers of Polish heritage trained together to prepare for the liberation of Poland. In 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic decimated the camp, resulting in the deaths of 41 trainees, 24 of whom were buried in St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery, which is now a war memorial. For 95 years, the American and Canadian Polish communities have organized an annual pilgrimage to gravesite and memorial. Participation declined recently, but the assembly was instrumental in the organization of this year’s pilgrimage, which featured a military honor guard and other dignitaries. Twenty-five Knights participated in this project, contributing 287 hours of volunteer service.