The nation’s largest veterans organization is celebrating its 100th year of “veterans helping veterans” as one of the state’s first posts — Dunn’s American Legion Post 59 — also looks back on a century of service.
“It is my pleasure to present a proclamation honoring the American Legion for 100 years of service and not only the national American Legion, but also the American Legion Post 59 and the Auxiliary Unit 59 for their 100 years of service,” Mayor Oscar Harris said at a council meeting Tuesday night. The state’s chapter is also celebrating its centennial.
“We’re all about the same age,” Harris said as a crowd chuckled in the council’s chambers.
The mayor, who serves in the local post, called his fellow Legion members to the front.
“American Legion Post 59 has had three departmental commanders” in the state, Harris said, adding that the post plans to unveil a Wall of Honor commemorating the service of those three past state commanders and others at the its centennial celebration Sept. 5.
“We’re also developing a Wall of History because we have such depth of history” in our unit’s 100 years, he added. “We’re proud of that. ... We stand 209 members strong and we’re just so proud of that.”
Harris presented the proclamation to the post’s first vice commander and past state commander, Eric Sinclair, who was flanked by dozens of Legion members.
“The American Legion has been a loyal and committed advocate for veterans and their families since 1919,” Harris said in his proclamation. “The American Legion was founded on the four pillars of care for veterans, a strong national defense, Americanism, and children and youth.”
“The American Legion has played a leading role in initiatives and breakthroughs that have affected the lives of Americans in every community, from (the) U.S. Flag Code to the GI Bill,” Harris said. “For 100 years, the American Legion has set the example of patriotism and service that has strengthened our community and many communities across the nation.”
Looking back on a century of service, Harris said, the American Legion Post 59 and Auxiliary Unit 59 have fulfilled the Legion’s mission through many activities: hosting the annual Veterans Reunion Breakfast, the Veterans Experience Action Clinic and the annual Veterans Day service at Tyler Park. The post and unit have also provided scholarships, supported “numerous” youth programs, and participated in other community events, he said.
Harris congratulated the post and its auxiliary unit for their “decades of service,” declaring the week of Sept. 1-7, 2019, as “American Legion Centennial Week” in the city of Dunn.