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Sons of the American Revolution

Organized June 13, 1896


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Tucson Chapter Color Guard

Formed in late 2009 under the able leadership of Compatriot George Lipphardt, the Tucson Chapter has an active and enthusiastic Color Guard.  We have participated in a number of local, state and national SAR events, and in local and state civic events by invitation.  Two of our members represented the State in national color Guard activities in 2010:  the Pegasus Parade in Louisville in April and the National Congress in Cleveland in June.

Are you looking for folks dressed in authentic American Revolutionary War Uniforms?
If you are associated with a Tucson-area school and would like our Color Guard to come to your school for an event, or to attend a classroom discussion on the American Revolution:
If your organization is having an event to which you believe our Color Guard may be able to add some interest and color, email Color Guard Commander Rick Collins or Color Guard Vice Commander Dr. Ruddell Byrd, III to see if we can assist you.


Videos of the Tucson Veterans Day Parade


Video of the 2013 Parade


Short video of the 2012 Parade

Compatriots, the long-awaited book, "Patriot Ancestor Stories" is now available for purchase.   See the cover and other information.  President John Lyons has put together a 110-page book with 39 ancestor stories of our chapter members. Email John and request a copy.  They are only $20.00.



Below are pictures of the Color Guard Group and some of our activities.
Click on any picture to enlarge it.



The Tucson Color Guard group, 19 January 2013:  From top left: Gerald Lawford, George Lipphardt (State Commander), John Niemeyer, Rick Collins, Jim Kimbrough (Chapter President), James Williamson and Al Niemeyer.  From bottom left:  Christopher Francis, William Aurand, John Lyons (Chapter Commander) and Abraham Byrd III (Vice Commander).


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Pictures of the Color Guard group 30 May 2011



Click on any pictire to enlarge it.


21 April 2016 - Flag Certificate to Quality Lube & Tune


The Tucson Chapter Color Guard awarded a Flag Certificate to Quality Lube & Tune on April 21st, 2016.
John Lyons and Al Niemeyer made the presentation.


John Lyons and Jerry Ford with flag flying.
Lyons and Ford holding certificate in front of store and flag pole.


12 April 2016 - Flag Certificate to Camping World


The Tucson Chapter Color Guard awarded a Flag Certificate to Camping World on 12 April 2016.
John Lyons and Al Niemeyer made the presentation.


Camping World personnel with John Lyons & Al Niemeyer
under their gigantic flag (largest in Southern Arizona).
Closeup of Camping Word personnel with Lyons & Niemeyer.


11 April 2016 - Flag Certificate to Ken and Bobbie Oosterbaan


The Tucson Chapter Color Guard awarded a Flag Certificate to Ken and Bobbie Oosterbaan on 11 April 2016.
John Lyons and Al Niemeyer made the presentation.


John Lyons, Brian Oosterbaan, Bobbie Oosterbaan, Ken Oosterbaan & Al Niemeyer under the Oosterbaan front yard flag.
Closeup of the the Oosterbaans with John Lyons and Al Niemeyer.


2 April 2016 - 1st Ever MIAP Ceremony at Marana Veterans Cemetery


The Tucson Chapter, AZ SAR Color Guard had the deep honor of participating in the honoring of the interment of eleven veteran's remains at the Marana Veteran's Cemetery on Saturday, 2 April 2016.  This Missing in America Project ceremony (MIAP) was the first ever for the newly opened cemetery.  Together with different Veterans Organizations. the Color Guard formed twin columns as members of the different services passed through with the departed veterans remains.  After an opening ceremony, the remains were escorted to the columbarium for interment.  After interment the Color Guard fired a musket salute.  Tucson chapter members attending were: John Bird, Jim Bly, Rudy Byrd, Gerry Lawford, George Lipphardt, John Lyons, Albert Niemeyer and John Niemeyer. The Tucson Chapter ladies auxiliary was represented by Sandra Lawford.  Thanks to Tom Sorensen for stepping in and taking all the great photos.


Motorcycle hearse carrying remains.
Color Guard attendees and Ladies auxiliary Sandy Lawford.
Twin columns waiting start of ceremony.

Hearse at start of ceremony.
Service members carrying remains through twin columns.
Closeup of Service members carrying remains.

View of ceremony from a distance.
View of ceremony from Columbarium.
Holding out the flag.

Air Force Honor Guard readying for salute.
Sandra Lawford and 4 Color Guard
members at columbarium.
Columbarium wall awaits interment
of eleven veterans' remains.

Tom Sorensen, Scottish Piper and 3 Color Guard members in front of columbarium wall.
Service members carrying remains to columbarium.
Color Guard fires salute.


4 July 2015 - Independence Day Parade, Mount Lemmon


The Tucson chapter Color Guard led the Mount Lemmon 4th of July Parade. We won first place! We got to break in the new drum. And the rain this year waited until the parade was over. But it came down hard while we were loading up to leave.


Parade participants: Color Guard Members Bill Aurand, Dr. Rudy Byrd, Commander Rick Collins, Lance Dickinson, Dale Drew, Al Niemeyer, John Niemeyer, Jim Williamson; Ladies Auxiliary Members Marcia Aurand, Bette Dickinson, Theresa Williamson; non member participants Jeff Coleman, Skip Harrington, Brett Kooistra, John Patla (drummer).


15 strong and rarin' to go!
Forming up.
Ready to march.

Here they come.
Here they are.
There they go.



12 June 2015 - Flag Day Ceremony, SaddleBrooke


Lance Dickinson, George Lipphardt, John Lyons and Al Niemeyer represented the Tucson Chapter Color Guard at the annual Flag Day Ceremony at SaddleBrooke on Friday 12 June 2015.  Representing the ladies auxiliary was Bette Dickinson.  The Color Guard participated with other members of the community in presenting different era U. S. Flags to the assembled audience.  Speakers for the event were Lt Kara Riley of the Oro Valley Police Department and former State Senator Al Melvin.


Color Guard Flag presenters George Lipphardt, John Lyons,
Al Niemeyer & Lance Dickinson
Bette & Lance Dickinson, Al Niemeyer,
John Lyons and George Lipphardt


Flag carriers (left to right) Jim Cox (Pine Tree Flag), Peggy Nelson (Snake Flag), Al Niemeyer (Continental Colors), Lance Dickinson (Grand Union Flag), George Lipphardt & John Lyons (Betsy Ross Flag), Bruce Nelson (1818 Flag), Chief Master Sgt Tom Wilson of the Air National Guard (48 Star Flag) and Retired US Army Warrant Office Vinnie Baloccehetti (POW-MIA Flag)


Al Niemeyer carrying the Continental Colors

George Lipphardt & John Lyons jointly carrying the Betsy Ross Flag
Flag bearers in front of the audience



25 May 2015 - Color Guard Visits 30 Year SAR Compatriot Retired Colonel William Lincoln


On Memorial Day, 25 May 2015, the Tucson Chapter Color Guard, consisting of Dr. Rudy Byrd, George Lipphardt and Al Niemeyer called upon Colonel William Lincoln at his home at Broadway Proper. The Guard presented Colonel Lincoln with the Roger Sherman Medal and Certificate for his numerous offices which include the office of Tucson Chapter president in 1987 and a 30 Year Membership Medal and Certificate. We congratulate Bill for his long service to our Country and his many achievements on behalf on the Tucson Chapter, SAR.



25 May 2015 - Memorial Day Ceremony, Purple Heart Park


The Tucson Chapter Color Guard had the privilege to serve as the Honor Guard at the 25 May 2015 Memorial Day Ceremony at Purple Heart Park.  Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Lance Dickinson and Veteran George Lipphardt jointly placed the Purple Heart Wreath at the dais.  The name of each veteran that passed away during he past year was read aloud with a tolling of a bell for each individual named.  The event was sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Fort Lowell Chapter.  They were careful to thank the Color Guard for assisting and acknowledged each member attending by name: Dr. Rudy Byrd, Lance Dickinson, George Lipphardt, Albert Niemeyer, John Niemeyer and James Williamson.  Unnamed but contributing much to the day's event were Ladies Auxiliary members Marcia Aurand, Bette Dickinson and Theresa Williamson.  In attendance and posing for our camera was WWII Veteran USMC Quartermaster Sergeant Shirley Crowell.  What an inspiration she and other veterans are to our nation.  Keeping the attendees at the ceremony hydrated fell into the able hands of the young ladies of Girl Scout Troop 1986.


Color Guard and Ladies Auxiliary pose with Purple Heart Wreath.

The Williamsons and Bette Dickinson pose with Girl Scouts from Troop 1986.

 Ladies Auxiliary members Bette Dickinson, Theresa Williamson and Marcia Aurand display appropriate use of their period fans.

The University of Arizona Alumni Band playing with  gusto.

Purple Heart Wreath Presenters George Lipphardt and Lance Dickinson.

Patriot Frank W. Giroux speaks to the group assembled to honor those who served, bled and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Color Guard at attention.

Bette Dickinson, WWII USMC Veteran Shirley Crowell and Jim Williamson.
Tolling of the Bell for those veterans that have died during the past year.



20 May 2015 - Ironwood Elementary School, Marana


May 20th, 2015 found the Tucson Chapter Color Guard giving talks to fifth grade students at the Ironwood Elementary School.  As it so happens it was the next to last day before the children were to be dismissed for summer vacation.  Giving talks to the assembled students were Dr. Rudy Byrd, Jim Bly, State President George Lipphardt, Al Niemeyer, Jim Williamson and Ladies Auxiliary Theresa Williamson.  After the talks the children reviewed a display of various 18th century weapons and other paraphernalia.  The afternoon session was topped off with a schoolyard musket firing by Rudy Byrd.  It was another enjoyable and enriching afternoon for the Color Guard.


Color Guard visits Ironwood School 5th graders.
Rudy Byrd talking with students.

Jim Williamson talking with students.

Jim Bly talking with students.

Al Niemeyer talking with students.

George Lipphardt presents the history of our flag.

Jim Williamson presents a book about life in Colonial times to Principal Eric Abrams.
Theresa Williamson and Color Guard
with students.
Boom!  Rudy Byrd fires a musket.



15 May 2015 - Marshall Elementary School, Tucson


On a cool May 15th afternoon in Northeast Tucson, the Tucson Chapter Color Guard consisting of Bill Aurand, Dr. Rudy Byrd, Al Niemeyer and Ladies Auxiliary Theresa Williamson, each gave talks to over 50 Fourth and fifth grade students at the Marshall Elementary School.  The children responded enthusiastically to the talks and the display of 18th century weapons and other paraphernalia.  The afternoon session was topped off with a schoolyard firing of muskets by the color guard.  It was an enjoyable afternoon.


Rudy Byrd explains exhibits to students.

Rudy Byrd, Bill Aurand, Theresa Williamson and Al Niemeyer with students.
Theresa Williamson with teacher and students.

Theresa Williamson talks to students while Bill Aurand waits his turn.

Bill Aurand talks to students.

It's showtime!


1 May 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Couthouse, Tucson


George Lipphardt, Old Pueblo Chapter DAR member Susan Murphy, Gerry Lawford.
Al Niemeyer, Gerry Lawford, New Citizen, George Lipphardt.
Gerry Lawford, Al Niemeyer, New Citizen, George Lipphardt.


Gerry Lawford, Judge Rosemary Marquez, Jim Bly.
Judge Marquez sought ought the Color Guard to thank us.
Al Niemeyer, WWII P47 Thunderbolt Pilot Bob Mathews,
Jim Bly, Gerry Lawford.



17 April 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Couthouse, Tucson


Jim Bly, Al Niemeyer, New Citizen,
Gerry Lawford.
Large police family with New Citizen, Jim Bly, Gerry Lawford.



10 April 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Couthouse, Tucson


Gerry Lawford, New Citizen, Al Niemeyer.
Gerry Lawford, New Citizen & her sister, Al Niemeyer.



20 March 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Couthouse, Tucson


Al Niemeyer, Lance Dickinson, New Citizen & family,
Gerry Lawford.
Lance Dickinson, New Citizen & family, Gerry Lawford.



13 March 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Courthouse, Tucson


Gerry Lawford at the podium,speaking to the New Citizens.
Gerry Lawford, Lance Dickinson, Judge Brenda H. Whinery, & Al Niemeyer.
Jim Bly and Lance Dickinson present the colors at the Naturalization Ceremony.

Taking the oath.

Lance Dickinson, Al Niemeyer, New Citizen, Gerry Lawford, Jim Bly.
Three New Citizens from the same family with family members; Lance, Al, Gerry, Jim.



27 February 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Courthouse, Tucson


images/cg2015-02-27-s.jpg Ft Huachuca Army personnel, civilian with child, Al Niemeyer, Lance Dickinson & Gerry Lawford.



20 February 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Courthouse, Tucson


Color Guard joins new citizens and others in Salute to the flag.
James Bly, Bill Aurand, New Citizen, Jerry Lawford, Al NIemeyer.



23 January 2015 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Courthouse, Tucson


Color Guard and Judge Leslie Bowman join with the new citizens in the Salute to the flag.
George Lipphardt, Judge Leslie Bowman, Gerry Lawford,
Al Niemeyer.

George Lipphardt, New Citizen, Al Niemeyer, Gerry Lawford.
George Lipphardt, Gerry Lawford, New Citizen, Al Niemeyer.



20 April 2012 - Missing in America Project, Fort Huachuca


The Tucson Chapter Color Guard participated with military and veterans organizations in a solemn burial of cremated veteran's remains, known as the Missing in American Project (MIAP).

The Services presented the cremation urns for dedication and prayer to the platform.  Later, the urns were marched to the Columbarium where the Tucson Chapter Color Guard fired a salute before interment.  MIAP locates unclaimed cremated remains of veterans for proper military burial with full military honors.

Photo by Betsy Kimbrough



5 November 2011 - 5th Annual Casa Grande Veteran's Day Parade


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The Color Guard won "Best Marching Unit" in the parade and received the plaque on the right.
This is the second year in a row the Color Guard has won this award!



10 June 2011 - Naturalization Ceremony, United States Courthouse, Tucson


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The Tucson Chapter Color Guard participated in the Naturalization Ceremony at the United States Courthouse.  We Post the Colors to begin each ceremony, and then greet each new citizen afterwards as they leave the room. The court appreciates our participation, and we feel honored to be able to be a part of the ceremony.



14 June 2010 - Flag Day Ceremonies, SaddleBrooke


Flag Day ceremony at SaddleBrooke Color Guard at SaddleBrooke The Tucson Chapter Color Guard participated in the annual Flag Day Ceremony at the SaddleBrooke Retirement Community, June 14, 2010.

The Chapter Color Guard was represented by Commander George Lipphardt and Mike Pavlich (who was wearing his Army Cavalry Uniform).

We were honored to be asked to be Flag Escorts for two of the many flags, that have been flown over our Country.

Pictures taken by Al Niemeyer and Lucy Pavlich.

30 May 2011 - Memorial Day Ceremony, Evergreen Cemetery, Tucson

Memorial Day, 2011 Memorial Day, 2011, firing muskets

The Tucson Chapter Color Guard again participated in the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery (Oracle Road & Ft. Lowell Road) which is organized each year by the American Legion Morgan McDermott Post 7.  Each year our Color Guard assists in beginning the program by Posting the Colors.  Later during the ceremony our Color Guard fires a musket salute, followed by “mourn arms” during the playing of Taps.

Memorial Day, 2011, Mourn Salute

We get a tremendous amount of patriotism to be able to help with this beautiful ceremony honoring our Veterans.

Participating this year are: Mike Pavlich (in his Army Calvary uniform), James Williamson, Al & John Niemeyer, George Lipphardt, and Dr. Rudy Byrd.

25 March 2010 - St. Ambrose School, Tucson

Color Guard with St. Ambrose 4th graders

Compatriots John Lyons, George Lipphardt, and Dr. Rudy Byrd (from left to right) talking to a class of 4th graders, at the St. Ambrose School in Tucson, on March 25, 2010.  Picture taken by Al Niemeyer.

21-22 February 2010 - Arizona Historical Society, Tucson

Color Guard with the Declaration of Independence
On February 21 and 22, 2010, a very rare copy of a Declaration of Independence Broadside was on display in Tucson, at the Arizona Historical Society.  This document was typeset on July 4-5, 1776 by printer John Dunlap, and is only one of 26 original first printings of the Declaration of Independence known to exist.

There is more to this story:  As of 1989, only 24 copies of the "Dunlap broadsides" were known to exist, until a flea market shopper bought a framed painting for only four dollars.  While inspecting a tear in the painting, the owner discovered this folded Dunlap broadside behind it.  This 25th copy of the Dunlap broadside was authenticated by Sotheby's and an independent expert.

In June 2000, the document was purchased by renowned television and film producer Norman Lear and a friend on Sotheby's online auction.  Of the 25 surviving copies of the Dunlap Broadside, 21 copies belong to universities, historical societies, public libraries and city halls.  The remaining four are in private hands, although promised to public collections.  The Lear's now own the document outright.

Attending this historic event were Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Gifford and Tucson Mayor Walkup.  Helping add some history and color to this event from SAR, were Compatriots Dr. Rudy Byrd, John Lyons and George Lipphardt

During the event, we all had ample opportunities to talk to the crowds of people (many were school children) about the significance of the document, the American Revolution, our uniforms and of course our muskets (everyone was interested in the muskets).


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22 May 2016
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