Legion Centennial Logo

Litchfield American Legion Post 104 will mark the centennial founding of the national American Legion organization with a “birthday party” from 2-5 p.m. Saturday at the post, 224 N. Sibley Ave.

“Everyone is invited to join the party,” local Commander Tom Westrum said, issuing the invite for all Legion members and club management. “We want people to see and share in our history.”

The event, which will include food and drink specials, music and prize drawings, also will include a memory table, Westrum said, with photo albums from throughout the decades for visitors to browse.

The American Legion was founded in March 1919 in Paris, France, by U.S. World War I military personnel stationed there who were dedicated to four pillars of service and advocacy: veterans, military personnel, youth and patriotic values.

The American Legion today consists of 55 departments in each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, France, Mexico, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. There are approximately 13,000 local posts worldwide.

Current national membership is about 2 million. Combined with the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion, membership in what is known as the American Legion Family exceeds 3 million.

American Legion membership is open to military personnel and veterans who have served their nation on active duty during wartime. Eligibility has been open to all who have served on active duty since Aug. 2, 1990, the beginning of continuous U.S. armed conflict in the Middle East and other locations. However, recently eligibility dates have been opened to all veterans including the rest of The Legion Family. Effective immediately.

The Legion has been instrumental in the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, creation of U.S. Flag Code, passage of the GI Bill and more.

The American Legion is commemorating its 100th anniversary with a 15-month celebration that began with its national convention in August 2018 and will run through Veterans Day 2019.

Brent Schacherer is publisher of the Hutchinson Leader and Litchfield Independent Review.

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