Patriotic Order Sons of America
Initiation Ritual


1948


Opening Ceremony
 
Every Officer should commit his duty to memory, so as to proceed without Cards and Books.
When the time has arrived to open Camp, the President will call to order, and say:
President, *:
Brothers, this Camp is about to open for regular business. Officers and members will assume regalia, and take their stations.
After allowing a reasonable time, the President continues:
President:
The Guard will close the outer door.
The Secretary will call the roll of officers and note the absentees.
If any officers are absent, the President fills the vacancies by appointment at this time.
President:
The Conductor, after examination by the Master of Forms as to his knowledge of the password and duties, will see that the Inspector and Guard are at their stations and possess the password. He will then return and report.
After examination of the Inspector and Guard, the inner door having been closed, the Conductor advances to the saluting ground, faces the President, and reports without saluting:
Conductor:
Brother President, the doors are closed and guarded. With each post of duty filled, the Camp is ready to open.
President:
Brother Conductor, are you satisfied that all present are entitled to remain?
The Conductor takes the password from every one present, and member of the Camp entitled to same must receive it from the Master of Forms. Visiting brethren must be vouched for (the voucher being fully satisfied that said person is a member of the Order in good standing), or be examined by a committee appointed for that purpose by the President. Brethren without the password should be thoroughly posted to enter a strange Camp. When satisfied that all are entitled to remain, he advances to the front of the Altar, and reports as follows:
Conductor:
Brother President, I am satisfied.
Conductor then resumes his station.
President:
Brother Master of Forms, you will see that the Camp room is in order for opening.
Master of Forms advances to Altar, opens Bible and lights the red, white and Blue Altar lights.
President:
Brother Vice President, what is the first duty of all Sons of America?
Vice President:
Devotion to God, our Country and our Order.
President, * * *:
Brothers, under Providential rule and guidance, we are meeting as patriots should, to labor for the land we love: free America. Let us strive to do honor to our noble cause, and to advance its interests. Studying to be faithful to our solemn pledges, let no envious shadow dim the light of love and patriotism, no discord rise nor discontent be known in our Camp. Let us proceed, as men and brethren, to perform the duty which is plain before us, that of preserving the liberties given to us, through our sires, as a sacred heritage. Let us in peace, harmony, sincerity and truth, fulfill that work.
Then, after a short pause, during which Conductor steps to Altar, the President says:
President:
Raise the Flag!
The Conductor hoists the flag on staff; as it reaches the proper position the President says:
President:
Behold the emblem of our Country's grandeur!
Vice President:
Forever float that standard of Liberty!
Master of Forms:
All hail to thee! Symbol of our Country's pride and power!
Members, lead by Conductor: Hail! Flag of the Free!
Every member saluting the flag with regular military salute.
Camp sings Opening Ode, first verse:

O, Columbia, the gem of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of each patriot's devotion,
A world offers homage to thee.
Thy mandates make heroes assemble,
When Liberty's form stands in view;
Thy banners make tyranny tremble,
When born by the Red, White and Blue.
Chaplain reads lesson from Bible.
Chaplain:
Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, to whom alone a freeman bends the knee, meeting her to serve the country which Thou hast blessed with freedom, we ask Thy light upon our labors and in our hearts. Give us strength to do good and power to resist evil. Be pleased to bless our Order, and bind it together in peace, harmony and fidelity. May our work be so done, as to meet Thine approval ; and when life's duties are over, call us to Thee, we ask, in the Saviour's holy name, who taught us to pray: Our Father, Who art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever ever. Amen.
Camp sings Opening Ode: second verse:

The Star Spangled Banner bring hither,
O'er Columbia's true sons let it wave;
May the wreaths they have won never wither;
Nor the stars cease to shine on the brave.
May America's sons ne'er sever,
But they to their Union prove true,
The American cause forever,
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue.
President, *:
This Camp is now in business session.
 
 
Initiatory Ceremony
 
President:
We are now ready to receive for initiation candidates found worthy and elect. The Conductor will ascertain if any are in waiting.
The Conductor retires, receives the names of the candidates, returns, advances to the saluting ground, and addressing the President, says:
Conductor:
Brother President, in the anteroom I find waiting Mr. (or Messrs.) giving name of applicant or applicants.
President:
Brother Recording Secretary, do you find that Mr. (Messrs.) has (have) been elected to membership?
Recording Secretary:
I do.
President:
Is there known to any member present a cause which should prevent the initiation of this (these) candidate(s)?
If objections are made by any member, and sustained by a majority of those present, the application shall be again referred to the Committee of Investigation for report at the next regular meeting. If no objections are made the President says:
President:
If there be none, we will proceed.
The Conductor will retire and introduce the candidates.
The Conductor lowers the flag on staff, leaving it fastened to rope, and then he takes the flag from the stand beside the Conductor's Chair and retires to the ante-room.
The Sentinels rise, bring their arms to a "Carry" and take their positions. They will at once face each other in pairs, and commence pacing back and forth, two Sentinels in Continental uniform in front of President's desk or station, two in Sailor uniform back of Altar, two in Soldier uniform guarding the Altar.
Note: The following questions are asked of the candidate in the ante-room. If large classes are initiated, they are taken into the Camp room, and questions are asked them as a group. Have candidates stand and answer in distinct tones, either YES or NO.

Question l: Have you ever been rejected, suspended, or expelled by any subordinate Camp of this Order? If so, which Camp?
Question 2: Do you believe in God as the Supreme Ruler of the universe, and that the Bible contains His Revealed Will?
Question 3: Are you opposed to the Union of Church and State?
Question 4: Do you owe allegiance to any foreign Prince or Potentate or are you bound by oath or faith to any ruling power other than the United States of America?
Question 5: Will you help in the advancing of our free public schools and protect them from all sectarian influence?
Question 6: Will you seek diligently to keep the United States Government free from interference of any foreign power?
Question 7: Were you born in the United States of America or under the protection of the flag of the United States of America?
President:
Brothers, an American (or Americans) stands at our door seeking entrance. Let us strive to impress upon him (them) those lessons which we so well love to exemplify, and which cannot too often be repeated.
The Inspector signals the Conductor with one rap; he answers with two raps; this is responded to by the President giving three raps, calling up the Camp. The Inspector throws the door wide open and says:
Inspector:
Enter, Worthy American(s).
Conductor to candidate(s):
Advance.
The Conductor and candidate(s) move forward to a point several paces beyond the inner door and stop.
Conductor to candidate:
Think of loyalty to country, PATRIOTISM:
Vice President:
Washington and the host of heroes who fought and died for freedom lived not for themselves alone. They dared all, braved all, suffered all, for the liberties we now enjoy. To emulate that patriotism, and follow their example, we are bound together in a common cause.
Conductor:
Reflect upon the power of intelligence, EDUCATION:
Master of Forms:
We claim that the Public Schools are the training schools of many virtues, and the living springs that feed the stream of human progress. The duty of the State is to prepare its youth to become useful citizens, and the Public School House, that bulwark of our country's greatness, should be jealously guarded by every American.
Conductor:
Consider the beauty of friendship, FRATERNITY:
Past President:
David and Jonathan, Washington and Lafayette, stand out as bright examples of unselfish friendship. The same reasons for their fraternal love we possess. How greatly enhanced then are these when we think that we are the children of one common mother: AMERICA; that the shadow of this flag has fallen on all our birthplaces; and that each one here expects these folds to drape his coffined form when the heart that pulsates now is forever stilled. In reflections such as these let fraternity take deep root in our natures.
Conductor:
Forward, Patriot.
When the Conductor reaches the saluting ground, the two Sentinels guarding the Altar will advance toward candidate(s), bring their arms to the position of "charge," left foot advanced one step forward.
Right Sentinel:
Halt! Only Americans may pass!
Left Sentinel:
Stand and report, Why are you here?
Conductor:
In behalf of this (these) American(s), I seek an interview with our President.
Right Sentinel:
None but those born in America, or under the protection of her flag, can have that privilege.
Conductor:
This (these) American(s) is a native (are natives) of the land we love and serve, and desires to prove his (their) loyalty to our cause.
Left Sentinel:
Is this your purpose and desire?
Candidate:
It is.
Sentinels:
We welcome you. Advance.
At the word "advance" the Sentinels will bring their arms to a "carry," step forward and place themselves on either side of the candidates. Where six Sentinels are used the two sailors will fall in behind candidates. The Conductor places himself in front of the candidates.
Conductor:
Forward.
The procession then moves around the room once, during which the first verse of the Initiatory Ode is sung. As they pass the President's station, the Sentinels there will "present arms," remaining in that position until the procession has passed, when they will again "carry arms," and resume pacing back and forth. On reaching the Altar, the Sentinels, with the candidates, will take position, one on each side of the Altar, facing it, the sailors remaining on each side of the candidates.
Camp sings INITIATORY ODE: first verse

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim's pride,
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring.
Conductor:
Brother President, this (these) worthy American(s) comes (come) to you for counsel in his (their) duty towards this Order, and to take the obligation which will bind him (them) to us forever.
President:
Son(s) of America, your desire to join our ranks is commendable. We, the pledged Sons of America, have vowed through life and unto death to defend our native land from internal danger and outward peril. Questioned as you have been and answering as you did, we believe that none but pure and patriotic motives have prompted you to take this step. Within these walls no idle curiosity or selfish motive will be tolerated.
It now becomes necessary for you to take a solemn and binding obligation; in it there is nothing to interfere with your duty toward your God, your neighbor or yourself; but rather you are bound to the highest duties of American citizenship. ARE YOU WILLING TO PROCEED?
Candidate(s):
Yes, We are, etc.
President:
An American kneels to God alone.
I, therefore, in this solemn moment, ask you to kneel to your God.
The Chaplain assumes position to the right of President, the Conductor instructs candidates to kneel at Altar, to place right hand over his heart, left hand on the Holy Bible (or on shoulder of candidate in front). Sentinels cross bayonets over the Altar, the Conductor rests his flag on the angle formed by the bayonets. The President advances to the Altar, with Sentinel marching on each side of him Chaplain remains between President and Sentinel. Positions about Altar during Obligation).
President:
Repeat after me this obligation:
President pauses at the points indicated by bars to allow the candidate(s) to repeat.

 
 
Obligation
 
I, in the presence of these witnesses, do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare, never to reveal the secrets of this order to any person, except to a true and loyal member thereof. 
I will support and obey its Constitution and its Laws, and discharge the duties of any station I may be called upon to fill.
I will defend my Country, her Constitution and her Laws, even with my life, if necessary.
Furthermore, I shall ever preserve and defend the purity and freedom of the ballot.
I shall always oppose any union of Church and State. I shall maintain and defend our system of Public Schools and shall ever stand opposed to the use of public funds for sectarian purposes.
I will show courtesy, hospitality and kindness to a worthy Brother of this Order, and never knowingly or wilfully bring injury to a Brother's name, his character of his family. And now to this Order, my Country and her Flag, I pledge my solemn faith without any reservation whatever, calling these my Brethren to witness the sincerity of my vows; so help me God and keep me steadfast, in this my obligation as a Patriotic Son of America.
Camp responds:
Amen.
Chaplain:
Father of Mercy, Freedom and Truth, hear Thou these vows and let Thy Recording
Angel write them down: Out of the riches of Thy grace, grant unto this (these) Brother(s) strength to offer up, if ever need be, the last full measure of devotion for the preservation of those principles so dear to every freeman. May he (they) be inspired with the sacred love of Liberty that animated the Patriots of old. May he (they) feel that he is (they are) pledged to a just and holy work, and never turn from the path of the patriot. Shield him (them) from wrong, guide him (them) in duty, prepare him (them) for death, and when he (they) shall pass away may his (their) record be his (their) proudest monument. Amen.
Blest be the tie that binds
The Sons of our fair land,
In union, both of hearts and minds,
One fearless, valiant band.
 
To thee, our native land,
To thee we pledge our zeal;
In fellowship a kindred band,
Devoted to thy weal.
President:
Rise, Brother(s), pledged in Freedom's cause, and receive further instructions.
The lights are turned up.
The Sentinels "carry arms," place themselves on either side of the candidate(s), and, following the Conductor, escort him (them) directly to the Vice President. President seats Camp, *.
Conductor:
Brother Vice President, this (these) Brother(s) has (have) given the pledges and taken the obligation required, and now asks from you the emblem of our Order that he (they) may take his (their) seat among us.
Vice President:
My Brother(s), you have, by solemn pledges, united yourself with a brotherhood of patriotic men. You have promised to protect the interests of our native land and henceforth our nation's enemies become your enemies.
It will be your duty to foster true American patriotism by opposing all designs upon the life of this nation.
From the past come visions and voices of our patriot Fathers with earnest admonition to cling to our liberty of thought, speech and action, as the safeguard of our individual and national happiness.
This Order, to which you have pledged fidelity, stands opposed to all men or systems which tend toward the oppression of our fellowmen; and has set up its banner in the name of God, our Country and Free Education; thus fulfilling the parting charge of Washington, in promoting and defending institutions for the diffusion and advancement of knowledge. This emblem which I now place upon you is symbolic of our country's flag in color and design. Wear it with the conscious pride and honor of an American freeman, and may you always determine to uphold the right as God gives you wisdom to see the right.
There's a band that is loyal and true,
The Sons of an Order who stand,
'Neath the folds of the Red, White and Blue,
To protect and to watch o'er the land.

Chorus: O. the Red, White and Blue,
It shall wave o'er the brave evermore;
O, the Red, White and Blue,
It shall wave o'er the brave evermore.
While speaking, the Vice President places Regalia on candidate(s). During singing the Master of Forms prepares the urn and sees that the flag is in order for raising. The Conductor faces the candidate(s) about and marches him (them) to the Altar, The Master of Forms hands the halyards to the first candidate and says:
Master of Forms:
My Brother(s), you have taken a solemn obligation. You have pledged sincere devotion to your Country and Flag. This flag gathering its folds in his hands, the symbol of our liberties, commands the true reverence of your heart. Its history is the story of our nationality, and its presence is the pledge of freedom, order, civilization and Christianity. Brother, raise into light the glorious "Stars and Stripes."
As the candidate runs up the flag the Master of Forms says, looking up at the flag:
Master of Forms:
"Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
By angel hands to valor given,
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven."
President:
Behold the emblem of our Country's grandeur.
Vice President:
Forever float that standard of liberty.
Master of Forms:
All hail to thee, Symbol of our Country's pride and power.
Members, responding and saluting:
Hail, Flag of the Free!
 
 
Ode
 
Rally 'round the Flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom.
We'll rally from the hillside, we'll rally from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom.
 
Chorus:
The Union forever, hurrah boys, hurrah,
Over the School House we'll hoist the Stars and Stripes,
While we rally 'round the Flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom.
From stanza spoken by Master of Forms on, the lights are gradually lowered, so that at its conclusion the room is as nearly darkened as possible without all the lights being extinguished. The Master of Forms then lights the tri-colored fire in the urn and extinguishes the red, white and blue lights at the Altar. The Sentinels hold their muskets and the Conductor places his flag in the same position they were in when obligation was administered, remaining thus until the new brothers join the circle.
Master of Forms:
Brother(s): Standing before this fire, lighted on the Altar of Liberty, we greet you. Look upon that tri-colored flame, and learn a lesson from each hue. Love, Purity and Fidelity are each signified there, as in our nation's flag, and we trust that your life will prove that these virtues are united in your character.
In that Holy Bible place your trust; in its teachings find your hope. In the Constitution laid thereon handing him a copy, behold the laws which you have promised to obey. Forget not the obligations of this hour, the emblems we have used, and all will go well with you here and hereafter.
Then, turning to camp, the Master of Forms says:
Brothers, form our fraternal circle, by clasping hands with left hand over the right, and let us around our new brother(s) renew the pledges which he (they) and we have taken.
Master of Forms:
Now linked hand in hand while throbbing hearts respond in love, let us in song uplift our united voices.
Camp sings CAMP FIRE ODE: first verse:

Clasped hand in hand like brothers,
Let heart with heart unite,
To pledge our faith and honor,
To hold and guard the right;
Each voice and heart obeying,
Bursts forth in glowing song,
Through all the land resounding,
In echoes loud and long.
Master of Forms:
Brothers, where is our strength ?
Members:
United we stand pause divided we fall.
Master of Forms: With upraised hand, do you renew the binding obligations which pledge us to our Country and this Order, through our lives, and unto death, as men and patriots?
Members holding up right hand:
Our Country first, last and forever; through life and unto death, our Country.
Master of Forms:
Brothers, as the blessed light falls fresh upon us all lights are turned up fully, open our ranks and admit our new brother(s) into the circle of fraternal strength.
The "fraternal circle" is re-formed as before, candidate(s) participating, being placed in position by the Master of Forms, assisted by Conductor; the circle remains unbroken until the Master of Forms, inside the circle, delivers his closing charge.
Camp sings CAMP FIRE ODE: second verse.

Our sacred cause and Order,
No distance shall undo;
But rolling time shall twine them,
More binding firm and true.
 
Clasped hand-in-hand like brothers,
Let heart with heart unite,
To pledge our faith and honor,
To hold and guard the right.
Master of Forms:
Officers and members, as we have again renewed our pledges of unfaltering devotion to the land of our birth, let us hope that these united expressions are sincere. In our deliberations endeavor to prevent ill feeling and petty jealousies from gaining a foothold in our midst. With love of harmony and order pervading every heart, and with a firm determination to be faithful to our obligations and to support the best interests of our Order, let us return to our places, while the Conductor escorts our new brother(s) to the Past President.
Members return to their places, while Conductor and Sentinels take charge of the candidates. The second verse of the Initiatory Ode is then sung, while the Conductor, preceding the candidate, escorted by the Sentinels, marches once around the room and halts before the Past President,
Camp sings INITIATORY ODE: second verse.

My native country, thee
Land of the noble free
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
Conductor:
Brother Past President, I present this brother (these brothers) for further advice from one who, having held the highest office, is qualified to give the same.
Past President:
Brother(s), you have entered upon a noble work. Washington must have looked with prophetic eye down the future when he bade us beware of foreign influence, and pronounced it the most baneful foe of a republican government. How are we to meet these dangers except by organization as Patriotic Sons of America, who place country before party, and whose watchword is, "God, Our Country and Our Order."
The great doctrines we teach are Patriotism, Education and Fraternity. Believing that Patriotism is the actuating motive of every honest man, we strive to teach such lessons as shall make us better citizens of our beloved country. A great responsibility is imposed upon you by the solemn pledges you have just made. You may withdraw from the Order, forget the Brethren; but you cannot withdraw the promises you have made in the presence of God, your Brethren and the Flag of your Country.
Knowing that free Education is the foundation of our national eminence, we advocate the system of Public Schools for the promotion of that intelligence which shall preserve us as a free nation. It is your duty as a Son(s) of America to defend the Public Schools of our country against open and secret foes, and to oppose any union of Church and State.
Realizing the wondrous beauties of Fraternity, we are drawn close together by the mystic ties of our common birthright, and are prompted to the exercise of those virtues which teach us to be noble, brave, friendly and true. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.
The truly patriotic American must first be a good citizen in his obedience to the laws, and in an honest exercise of the power of the ballot. To this end we denounce all political corruption, and any interference with the will of the people legally expressed; pledging ourselves to aid in guaranteeing to all citizens their constitutional rights, and a free and potent participation in the affairs of government as contemplated by the founders of the Republic.
Let us firmly resolve that the noble sentiments expressed by Lincoln shall have for us a new and more binding influence, "That this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
In the name of this great fraternity, I now greet you steps forward and takes candidate by the hand. In the name of our Heavenly Father, I pray for your happiness and success, and by the memory of Washington, I charge you, be faithful. May God shield us and prosper our cause.
Camp responds:
Amen.
Past President:
The Conductor will now conduct you to the Master of Forms for instructions in the secret work.
Camp sings INITIATORY ODE: third verse.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees;
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break;
The sound prolong.
Conductor escorts candidate to Master of Forms immediately.
Conductor:
Brother Master of Forms, this (these) brother(s) obligated and clothed in the regalia of our Order, asks instruction in the work he has (they have) promised to preserve secret.
Master of Forms:
Brother(s), remember your pledge, and never, under any circumstances, betray a sign or secret of this Order. Your sacred honor, and the safety of your brothers and yourself, demand that excessive caution be used in every signal. Never, without cause, must a sign or cry be used outside this Camp. The password will ever reach you in a whisper; only during the session of the Camp is it given, and the Master of Forms alone has the right to communicate it. It must not be passed from brother to brother, except as given at the doors on entering, and to the Conductor on his official tour.
I will now instruct you in the secret work.
Done.
The Sentinels return to their stations and the candidate Is taken to the ante-room while the screen is being prepared or unobtrusive preparations may be made while secret work instruction is given. Conductor seats candidate(s) facing screen. Lecture should be committed to memory and Orator should take a position near the candidate(s) and facing the screen.

 
 
Lecture
 
Orator:
By brother(s), let me impress upon you the duties an American owes to his country by referring to its glorious past. In order that we may thoroughly understand the true meaning of civil and religious liberty, let us go back to the time when it was a crime for a man to assert freedom of speech or conscience; back to the days when education was for the few and ignorance for the many; to the time when the man appointed by Providence appears, and Columbus, after many discouragements, braves the terrors of an unknown sea, and gives to the world a New Continent, in which has been reared the noblest monument of all ages, free government.
Show "The Mayflower"

See the Pilgrims' barque, "The Mayflower," breasting the icy surge of a wintry sea. Upon her deck behold those impelled by manhood to dare the perils of the ocean, of a savage wilderness, and an unknown land, with two objects in view, to worship God as conscience bade them, and to be free.
The opening of the New World was like swinging back the gates of Paradise. With what relief is the shore of this free land approached.
Show "Landing of Pilgrims"

With what satisfaction these weary Pilgrims kneel and thank a provident God that at last are their wishes realized. They are free. Here they have a home, where persecution is unknown.
"O, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod,
They have left unstained, where here they found,
Freedom to worship God."
In these heroic hearts the terrors of the wilderness inspire no fear. Here these founders of liberty toiled and struggled. Here they blazed the way for freedom's march, until the tyrant king would forge for them the iron chain of slavery.
Will freemen now submit to that servitude in the New World, escaped by them in the Oldsubmit to the power that aims to destroy their Colonial life? No, Never! The great heart of liberty, once again touched, prompts the answering cry, "We will be free, or die!"
From the sacred house of God, from office desk and workshop bench, and from the seed strewn fields, freemen rush to battle for home, for right, for liberty.
Show "Battle of Lexington"

God aid them now. Bright angels shield each patriot. Lexington, Concord Bridge and Bunker Hill testify to the heroism and patriotism of the Americans.
Show "Battle of Bunker HILL"

The valorous deeds of Warren, Putnam, Prescott, and their compeers, on that historic day, render forever illustrious the memory of the Revolutionary Patriots. Who shall lead these valiant hearts to victory?
Show "Portrait of Washington"

Behold the man, George Washington, ordained by a protecting Providence to lead the patriotic hosts. Again and again do the minions of a despotic king hurl themselves against the embattled ranks of these hardy patriots. Shall tyranny triumph at last? Godforbid!
Show "Washington Crossing the Delaware"

'Tis Christmas night. Amid the plunging, crashing fields of ice, behold the heroic few upon the rushing waters of the Delaware. No peril daunts them here. To hesitate now would be to fail. On Trenton's plain the foe is met and vanquished. But dark looms the clouds above the struggling few who strike in freedom's cause. Hired assassins curse our soil, and on every side there is danger. Where, now, is hope?
Show "Washington at Prayer at Valley Forge"
Camp sings NEARER, MY GOD, To THEE:

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.
 
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
Orator:
Behold him who kneels within the forest shades of Valley Forge, our sainted Washington. In prayer he pleads for a nation's life, and with firm faith in the God of Battles, he arises with new strength, resolved to strike boldly and be free. Though fortune frowns and success seems hopeless: though to the stoutest heart the American cause seems lostWashington grasps his sword with firmer clasp and goes forth to battle for liberty and right. From victory to victory the patriots march.
Show "Surrender of Cornwallis"

At last Yorktown f alls, and the haughty pride of the most powerful monarchy of the Old World is broken; the power that had sent terror and confusion into the courts of the rulers of Europe, stoops before the sturdy valor of the Colonial army, and acknowledges the freedom of America, surrenders to her the dominion of the land, and peace once more breathes a blessing over the home of civil and religious liberty.
Again, in a time of great need, there is selected for the head of our Nation one whose leadership means boundless love for humanity; one whose every impulse was tempered with "love toward all and malice toward none.": Abraham Lincoln.
Show "Portrait of Lincoln"

In the crisis that followed, the voice of destiny sternly called the young Republic to do battle for its life.
Show "Rally of Troops at Washington"

Among those who enter the struggle that followed, first of all come they who are inspired by the teachings of our Order; they who, leaving the lights upon the altars of their Camps, prove upon the field of battle their devotion to God and Country. They, with thousands of others, offer their lives a willing sacrifice to prove this union an indivisible nation of freemen. The sacrifice was great. The struggle on both sides was for conscience sake. "'Twas our own blood we had to meet." But, as after the refining fire comes the pure metal, so Lincoln's prayer, that "these dead shall not have died in vain" has been realized. Through the blood and tears and suffering of this conflict has come the breath of a broader, grander, national life. There is now no North, no South, but one great indivisible Union of States, the people of which, hand in hand, heart to heart, unite in one glorious anthem to the American Republic.
Show "Blue and Gray Clasping Hands"

In the period of prosperity and expansion that follows, our country enters upon her full destiny as a Nation among the powers of the world, mindful not only of her own freedom and liberty, but in lifting up her voice on the side of the oppressed in other lands. We are, therefore, both sympathetic and responsive, when, almost from our own shores, we hear the cry for release from a despotism of f our hundred years; and the great heart of America accepts its destiny, following the destruction of the battleship "Maine" in Havana harbor.
Show "Destruction of the Maine"

"For the honor of the Flag and the sake of humanity" the Stars and Stripes are carried across the mines of Manila Bay and our forces in Cuba: the boys who wore the Blue beside the boys who wore the Gray: tear down that tyrannous flag, never again to float upon the Western Hemisphere.
America is a world power and unafraid to proclaim it.
During the First World War, thousands of Sons of America bid farewell to their brothers at the Camp-fires to defend our national honor and our heritage of liberty. Scarcely had the Americans engaged the enemy when he sued for peace, but not until the blood of Americans had colored battlefields on foreign soil.
Show "American Military Cemetery"

America dreamed of a lasting peace and discarded or destroyed her instruments of war.
But under the banners of the Fasces, the Swastika, and the Rising Sun, unscrupulous men, by lying, bribery, treachery, and murder, dominated three spineless nations, combining them in an unholy conspiracy to destroy all freedom in the World. By false promises, intimidation, or conquest, these malignant nations engulfed their neighbors.
The enemy was also within our borders shouting, "This is not our war. We want peace." But with such a past, would Americans buy peace at the price of liberty? Could a disarmed America prepare in time for defense against an enslaving Axis?
We were still talking peace with our undeclared enemy, when bombs fell through the Sunday dawn. Americans died; our fleet sank in the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor.
Show "Remains of Fleet after Attack at Pearl Harbor"

Stunned, a peaceful America began to prepare for war. Our industry converted, our labor produced, our intelligence created, our spirit prayed, our youth trained, went forth, fought, and died.
Show "Industry for War"

Slowly, at first, but with ever increasing strength, America's armed might grew, driving the enemy from sea, and air, and land.
"Show "Modern Military Methods"

But the last of the enemy banners fell only after God had endowed us with the knowledge to surmount the scientific barriers guarding the realm of atomic energy. May He guide us in the peaceful use of this almost unlimited power, that we may be deserving of the trust placed in us by our Creator.
Show "Atomic Bomb"

Peace-loving Americans paid the price for unpreparedness in blood and repurchased peace with valiant lives and immeasurable pain: but Americans still are free. Today America stands forth as the greatest national influence for world peace and world freedom: a government without parallel among the nations of the Earth.
But "Peace hath her victories no less than War" and he who serves his country in time of peace is accounted no less a patriot than he who serves his country in time of war. As Americans, we should at all times strive to maintain peace, but not without honor; and for this purpose our Armed Services should be large and powerful enough to win respect and to defend our rights as a nation against any aggressor.
We want the Patriotic Order Sons of America to be known by its practical works.
Let me remind you of several of the many practical works of this Order.
The preservation of Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge; the Patriotic Order Sons of America Headquarters at Valley Forge was awarded to this Fraternity by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for this patriotic service.
Show "Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge"
Show "Marker Inside Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge"
Show "P. O. S. of A. Building at Valley Forge"

The erection of a monument at the grave of Betsy Ross in Mount Moriah Cemetery and a flagpole at the Betsy Ross Flag House, in Philadelphia;
Show "Betsy Ross Grave and Flag House"

The maintenance of an acre of ground and a monument at the spot where Washington crossed the Delaware that historic Christmas night;
Show "Washington's Crossing, Grounds and Monument"

The maintenance of a Home for members of the Order at Chalfont, Pennsylvania;
Show "Airplane View, Sons of America Homes, Chalfont, Pa."
Show "Home at Chalfont"

The erection of the Molly Pitcher monument at Carlisle by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Patriotic Order Sons of America, and the two great flagpoles on the Campus of State College, Pa., erected by Our Order.
Show Molly Pitcher Monument, Carlisle, Pa.
Show Great Flag Poles at State College, Pa.

We support restriction and control of immigration. We have stopped sectarian appropriations.
Show "Public School House"

We have placed "Old Glory" above the Public School House and we protect unbiased teaching within. Free Education is one of the especial glories which Americans hold very precious. Be eager in your advocacy of that system that allows all to enjoy the benefits of a sound and liberal education.
Show "Goddess of Liberty"

Where Liberty first raised her voice, where her youth was nurtured and sustained, there she still lives in the strength of her original being, and none but those who set a just value on her blessings are worthy to enjoy them. The fathers of the Republic, with our own immortal Washington at their head, were her zealous votaries; for her sake they endured the severest hardships; in her support they performed the most difficult tasks; in her defense no sacrifice was too great: not even their own blood was esteemed too rich a libation for her Altars.
Camp sings "STAR SPANGLED BANNER"

Oh! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed, at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming;
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh! say does that Star Spangled Banner still wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
At the commencement of the singing the stereopticon should be darkened, and the flag gradually shown during the chorus.
Show "Stars and Stripes"
Orator:
O, sacred Emblem of a grateful people, we meet here to do thee honor. Living beneath thee as the guardian of our liberties, we here render testimony to the beneficence of thy work. Hail chosen Ensign! Thrice hail, mighty Agent! The work that thou hast done will shine from the firmament as a new star to light the coming generations! Thy rays shall pale the rich troopers of the night and flash with undiminished fire in the presence of the god of day.
The Conductor will escort the candidate to the Recording Secretary's desk, where he will sign the Constitution Book, white the Camp sings the fourth verse of the Initiation Ode.
Camp sings INITIATORY ODE: fourth verse:

Our Father's God to Thee,
Author of Liberty;
To Thee we sing:
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.
The Conductor will escort the candidate(s) to the Saluting Ground and have him (them) face the President.
President:
Son(s) of America, for a faithful adherence to your vows, you will be held accountable by your brethren on earth and your God in Heaven. Be reminded, my brother(s) that your duty to this Order is not fully performed by the payment of your dues. Our aims, our record as an Order, and our Platform of Principles should receive your careful consideration. We urge you to attend our meetings and recommend the Patriotic Order Sons of America to your family and friends.
Remember also, that death alone will release you from the covenants you have assumed. May the step you have taken tonight give direction to your future life. Enshrine in your heart the memory of Washington and his compatriots, and though you may sink to rest less honored than they, your name will be enrolled as a member of this Patriotic band, who have joined hands to preserve Peace, Union and Liberty now and forever.
The President gives three raps, steps forward to the saluting ground, grasps the candidate(s) by the hand(s), and says:
President:
American(s), Patriot(s), and Brother(s), I welcome you, and declare you (a) member(s) of Washington Camp No , State of , Patriotic Order Sons of America, entitled to all the privileges and fellowship of our noble fraternity. May God help you to be faithful. *.
President returns to his station, gives one rap, and requests the candidate(s) to be seated; or, if desired, a brief recess may be declared to welcome the candidate(s).

 
 
Closing Ceremony
 
When a motion to adjourn has been made and seconded, or the Camp reaches that order of business, the President shall say:
President, *:
Is this Camp ready to close?
The question is not debatable. If no objections are made, the President proceeds. If objection is made, the President puts the question, and acts in accordance with the will of the Camp.
President:
Brother Financial Secretary, you will report the receipts and expenditures of the evening.
President:
Brother Vice President, what is the last as well as the first duty of all Sons of America?
Vice President:
Devotion to God, our Country, and our Order.
President, * * *:
Brethren, our labors for this evening have been concluded. Let us ever be watchful for the best interests of our Country and order; and, as we go hence, so conduct ourselves that we shall not, by word or act, bring disrepute upon our professions as true Sons of America. We will now sing the closing ode.
Camp sings CLOSING ODE:

Columbia, my native home,
If e'er my fate should be
In foreign lands to toil or roam,
My heart will cling to thee.
Columbia, where'er I go,
My heart will ever be;
Through joy or grief, through weal or woe,
My native land with thee.
At the conclusion of the singing the Chaplain steps to the Altar and says:
Chaplain:
May the blessing of God rest upon our Country and all her institutions; upon this Camp and all Sons of America everywhere. Amen.
Camp responds:
Amen.
Chaplain closes Bible and returns to his station.
President:
Brother Conductor, collect the Rituals and Cards and convey them to the Master of Forms.
After the President's Ritual Book bas been handed to the Master of Forms, and that officer announces that all books and cards are safely in his keeping, the Conductor advances to foot of flagstaff, and loosens the halyard for lowering. The President then says:
President:
Salute the Flag!
The Conductor immediately lowers flag, members at the same time saluting and responding:
Members:
Hail! Flag of the Free!
President, *:
This Camp is closed.


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