Lynchburg Area Veterans Council
The Exchange Club of Lynchburg is proud to support the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council. The Council was founded in December of 2013 and provides services and resources for the City of Lynchburg, as well as the counties of Amherst, Bedford and Campbell. It is composed of veteran organizations, veterans, private individuals, various nonprofit agencies, and businesses that support the needs of local area veterans. They have facilitated a centralized forum within our area to disseminate veteran information amongst veteran organizations, and support veteran activities for the common good and welfare of our local veterans. The Council believes that every service member, veteran, and their family members should know and understand the benefits to which they are entitled.
To learn more about this outstanding organzation, proceed to:
Veteran's Washington D.C. Trip
Scenes from the 2016 Veterans Trip
The Exchange Club is ‘America’s Service Club.’ The Exchange Club of Lynchburg is a civic-minded organization with a stated desire to support the ideals of Americanism and Community Service. As a means of recognizing those Americans who have fought for our country and the ‘American way,’ we sponsor a veteran’s trip to Washington, DC. This day trip provides veterans with the opportunity to visit the United States Marine Corps Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and the World War II Memorial, and allows us to honor their efforts and the memories of those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. There is no cost to the veterans who attend.
Award Winning Program —
In July of 2010, the Exchange Club of Lynchburg was the national Exchange Club winner of the Outstanding Project Award for Americanism for the Veterans Washington D.C. trip. Each year, just one club in the country is chosen to receive this award. Lynchburg was honored for conducting the most creative or unique project that benefitted the community and produced local or national exposure for the club and organization.
Praise for our 2016 Trip —
"I would like to thank you again for the wonderful trip to Washington. Our every need was met. All of the Veterans were treated like kings and queens. I didn't hear anything but five-star praise from everyone."
"I had not seen all those memorials before and I probably would never have seen them if it were not for your organization. I guess the most memorable part of the trip was the police escort from Arlington to Quantico. It was unbelievable and I will never forget it."
"We were really touched by the kindness of your organization. Your appreciation of my military service was so heartfelt. It was the first time that I felt that my Naval service was important to someone else. It is always important to me."
"The respect and honor that was paid to the Veterans was outstanding in every way. My husband served on Iwo Jima and will be 90 years old in June. This was one of the best days that he will remember. Thank you all for making this trip possible. We will never forget it."
"I sing the praises of the Lynchburg Exchange Club for providing this memorable event for all of us. I have been associated with civic clubs and non-profit organizations for 40 years and I can assure you that your club tackled what was a logistical nightmare — 3 busses, approximately 160 participants — and it went off without a hitch. We the Veterans will be forever grateful for the gift you have given us."
Proudly We Hail
Jerry Brammer (left) accepts the Proudly We Hail award from Mike Spencer for Peidmont Fleet Services.
Americanism has been called "The Heart of Exchange" because Exchange champions American ideals, and Exchange Clubs exist only on American soil. Exchange prides itself on its knowledge of American traditions, none less important than honoring the sacred American symbol – the flag. We help to promote the proper display and faithful flying of the "Stars and Stripes" by recognizing individuals, families, or businesses in our community that fly the flag properly and faithfully.
Businesses which were recently recognized for the Proudly We Hail award were Heritage Funeral Services and Piedmont Fleet Services. Individual recognition went to William and Cybil Elkins of Lynchburg.
Lynchburg Exchange Club members Ed Tinsley,
Rita Bryant and John Williams at the
Bedford Hills Elementary School Freedom Shrine
The Freedom Shrine is a collection of original historic American documents photographically reproduced and attractively displayed. Developed by The National Exchange Club, the Freedom Shrine originated from the Freedom Train that toured the nation in 1947 carrying an exhibit of historic documents. Of the Freedom Train exhibit, 19 reproductions of the original documents are now part of the Freedom Shrine.
Today, there are two Freedom Shrines. One consists of replicas of 28 historic American documents, and the other includes replicas of the 19 documents which toured on the Freedom Train. The purpose of the Freedom Shrine is to remind all Americans that their freedom is a result of the hard work and determination of our forefathers. The freedom Shrine serves as an everyday reminder of that precious gift of freedom.
Included in the Freedom Shrine are the photographic reproductions of the following documents:
The Mayflower Compact ^
The Declaration of Independence — Jefferson's Rought Draft *
The Declaration of Independence ^
Benjamin Franklin's Epitaph *
Patrick Henry's Instructions to George Rogers Clark *
The Treaty of Paris, 1783 *^
The Northwest Ordinance *^
Washington's Letter to Colonel Nicola ^
Washington's Copy of the Constitution *
U.S. Constitution ^
Washington's First Inaugural *^
Washington's Farewell ^
Jefferson's First Inaugural ^
The Bill of Rights *^
The Star Spangled Banner *^
The Monroe Doctrine *^
Lincoln's Second Inaugural ^
The Emancipation Proclamation *^
The Gettysburg Address *^
Lee's Letter Accepting Washington College Presidency *^
Theodore Roosevelt's Letter on Cuba *^
The Thirteenth Amendment ^
The Nineteenth Amendment *^
Letter Naming Eisenhower Supreme Commander *^
General McAuliffe's "Christmas Message" *^
Wilson's First Inaugural ^
German Instrument of Surrender, WWII *^
Jackson's Letter Describing the Battle of New Orleans *
Instrument of Surrender in the Pacific ^
F.D.R.'s Four Freedoms Speech ^
J.F.K.'s "Ask Not…" Speech ^
Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" Speech ^
Account of the Proceedings of the Susan B. Anthony Trial ^
* 19-document Freedom Shrine
^ 28-document Freedom Shrine
The Exchange Club of Lynchburg has installed Freedom Shrines in the following locations:
Alta Vista High School
American Legion Post #16, Lynchburg
Bedford Hills Elementary School
Brookville High School
Central Virginia Community College
Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy
Dearington Elementary School for Innovation
E. C. Glass High School
Heritage High School
Jefferson Forest High School
Leesville Road Elementary School
Liberty Christian Academy
Liberty High School
Liberty University School of Law
Linkhorne Middle School
Mountainview Elementary School
Natural Bridge Elementary School
P. L. Dunbar Middle School
New Covenant Schools
Rustburg High School
Rustburg Middle School
Sandusky Middle School
Sheffield Elementary School
Member Barry Stephens presents a young American with a flag at a Lynchburg Hillcats baseball game
Just as its tongue-twisting title suggests, GiveAKidAFlagToWave involves the distribution of small flags to youngsters at parades, fairs, picnics, school events or other community happenings that generate large crowds. The flags are absolutely free to the children and can make a great souvenir of the occasion.
The GiveAKidAFlagToWave Program is designed to cultivate a deeper sense of patriotism and to heighten young Americans' appreciation and admiration for our country's flag.
One Nation Under God
This powerful program not only aims to increase appreciation of our rich religious heritage, but also seeks to remind Americans that we must always trust in a higher power for guidance, protection and strength. The famous words of the program's title are, of course, taken from the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. One Nation Under God Month is observed annually during November. This is a special time of year when Exchangites join together to increase public appreciation of the important roles religious faith and freedom have played in our Nation's history.
The aims of the program are to:
- Build greater respect for the Pledge of Allegiance;
- Promote increased use of the Pledge in schools and at public gatherings;
- Combat all efforts to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge;
- Encourage and promote religions services by local churches on Thanksgiving Day or Eve;
- Promote attendance at such services to members and nonmembers alike;
- Prayerfully thank God for the blessings of liberty bestowed on America.