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  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    Legion Offers Gift to America on Occasion of Its 97th Birthday

    James Yermas

    James Yermas

    ALBANY — The American Legion turns 97 on March 15.

    “That’s the day in 1919 when the first Legion caucus, held by members of the American Expeditionary Force, convened in Paris, France,” noted American Legion Department of New York Commander James V. Yermas.

    “We’d like to turn the table and offer a gift to America on the occasion of our birthday,” Yermas said. “We call it: ‘Duty, Honor, Country’.”

    Those words are more than just a motto, he said. ”They are the essence of our service as Legionnaires. They are attributes found among American military veterans.”

    He defined that gift this way:

    — “It’s our duty to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

    — “It’s our duty to advocate for all veterans, building on the legacy of the Legion drafting the original G.i. Bill.

    — “It’s our duty to promote a strong national defense, but not ‘Might Makes Right’, for nobody hates war more than warriors.

    — “it’s our duty to promote peace, justice, freedom and democracy.

    — “It’s our duty to support our local communities and to operate some of the best youth programs in the country.

    — “It’s an honor to be veterans – a status symbolic of service, sacrifice and patriotism.

    — “It’s an honor to assist wounded and ailing veterans through our Operation Comfort Warriors program.

    — “It’s an honor to conduct a job fair to connect a veteran with employment and to help a homeless vet obtain safe shelter.

    — “It’s an honor to ride a motorcycle in an American Legion Legacy Run to raise scholarship money for children of fallen warriors.

    — “It is for our Country that we believe in preserving and protecting veterans’ memorials – regardless of whether atheists or other secularists find God offensive.

    — “It is for our Country that we defend the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom and the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

    — “It is for our Country that many of our comrades made the Supreme Sacrifice while defending our freedom.

    — “Duty, Honor and Country are also the reasons that we remember to pray for the safety of our troops in harm’s way.”

    The state American Legion commander concluded:

    “For 97 years The American Legion has been a force for good in America. With God’s grace, our best years are still ahead.”