Press Releases 2017
DC SAR Announces Appointment of William O. Ritchie as Public Information Officer
12 June 2017
Former D.C. Chief of Detectives William O. Ritchie Jr. has been named Public Information Officer of the District of Columbia Sons of the American Revolution (DCSSAR). The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is the largest male lineage organization in the U.S., consisting of 50 state-level societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies (including Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), and over 34,000 members.
The Society’s missions are patriotic, historical, and educational: to unite and promote fellowship among the descendants of those who sacrificed to achieve the independence of the American people; to inspire them and the community-at-large to a more profound reverence for the principles of the government established by our forefathers; to foster true patriotism; and to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom.
Ritchie, a graduate of Howard University, served with the Metropolitan Police Department for more than 23 years in positions including Chief of Detectives and as the Commanding Officer of both the Homicide and Public Integrity Branches. He was inducted into the SAR on July 4, 2016, after successfully documenting his lineage to his 5th great grandfather, Patriot William Parks, who was killed in defense of the republic in May 1776. Ritchie notes that while this ancestor was of European descent, many other African Americans are descendants of free black men who chose to fight on the American side in the Revolutionary War.
Over the years, Ritchie has been called upon by various local and national news organizations to provide expert commentary on a range of current events. Ritchie will have the responsibility of informing the media of DCSSAR events, initiatives and programs.
The DCSSAR hosts a variety of activities aimed at building appreciation of America’s Revolutionary heritage, particularly among young people. For example, on the morning of July 4 this year, DCSSAR and members of other lineage, patriotic, service and fraternal organizations will gather for a traditional Independence Day kickoff at Congressional Cemetery. This will include the laying of a wreath at the grave of Revolutionary War drummer boy John Hunter at 9:30 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., a ceremony will be held at the grave of Vice President Elbridge Gerry to honor him and other Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gerry is the only Signer buried in Washington, D.C. Congressional Cemetery is located at 18th and E Streets, SE.
For more information, contact William Ritchie at 301-661-2047.