Tricounty News

American Legion is 95

Happy 95th birthday to American Legions of the nation!

Purpose with action

The American Legion has become the most successful of all veterans’ organizations because it has combined a high purpose with resolute action.

The justification for the existence of any organized group is measured by what it stands for and what it does. In these two respects, the American Legion is tops. It is built around the ideal of the preservation of the free institutions of America.

In their every endeavor, Legionnaires are motivated by a burning desire to keep America always American. This is genuine Americanism, “For God and Country!”

The American legion was born in 1919. It sprang from the comradship at arms of the members of the first ALF in World War I. The goal was to perpetuate the friendships they formed in training camps and on the fields of battle.

Some 500 delegates met in Paris, France, March 15-17, 1919. They chose the name “American Legion” for their new association and left the details to be completed at another meeting to be held in the United States in St. Louis, Mo., May 8-10, 1919, with 1,000 delegates present from all over the U.S.

A constitution and by-laws were adopted, the famous Preamble was drafted. Minneapolis, Minn., was chosen for the first national convention to be held Nov. 10-12, 1919.

The bond of unity was consecrated by a recognition of sacred obligations which gave purpose and direrction to a pleasant association devoted to mutual helpfulness.

Along with that, Frederick A. Metcalf Post 261, Kimball, was chartered Aug. 1, 1920. These founders in its cradle days had neither money or jobs. But they did not let that stop them. They held many fund-raisers, often had to swap membership dues for eggs, fence rails, farm help, etc., and built an organization the exceeded their fondest dreams.