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  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018

    Legion Family Converges on Rochester for 100th Convention

    Legionnaires arriving at 100th Convention

    Legionnaires are all smiles as they arrive at the 100th Department Convention in Rochester. From left: Dave Lockhart, Steve Bowman, Dan Morea, and Kevin LeBoeuf. Photo by Bob Stronach.

    ROCHESTER — More than 1,000 wartime veterans and family members converge on Rochester July 18-21 for the New York State American Legion’s 100th Annual Convention. For its centennial meeting, The American Legion Department of New York returns to the city that hosted its first state convention in 1919.

    At the same time, Rochester hosts the 98th Annual Auxiliary Convention and the 44th Annual Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Convention.

    Gary Berogan, Mikel Buczkowski, Don Edwards, Walter Constantini

    A contingent from Oneida County huddles soon after arriving at the convention. From left: County Commander Gary Berogan, Mikel Buczkowski, Don Edwards, and Walter Constantini.

    Poster at convention registration.

    Poster at convention registration.

    The Legionnaires are discussing issues affecting veterans, community and nation, such as better ways to treat post-traumatic stress, monitoring the VA healthcare system, and advocating for a strong military.

    They also are honoring a high school cadet of the year, an Eagle Scout of the year, top first responders from law enforcement and fire departments, a top employer that hires veterans, a Legionnaire of the year, among others.

    Before the convention ends on Saturday, the Legion delegates elect a new state commander for 2018-2019.

    The convention assembly is being chaired by outgoing Commander Rena Nessler.

    The centennial convention takes place at the Rochester Riverside Hotel. The first state convention was held at Convention Hall (Old State Armory) on Clinton Street, Rochester, October 10 and 11, 1919. The then-newly organized national American Legion issued the Department of New York its state charter on May 24, 1919.