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  • Thursday, November 02, 2023

    National Commander Visits Western New York

    National commander at Buffalo Naval & Military Park
    Photos by Lauren Petracca/The American Legion

    During his visit to western New York in October, American Legion National Commander Daniel Seehafer participated in ceremonies honoring the service of African American and Hispanic American veterans at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

    In his comments to the assembled members there, Seehafer said “the whole Legion Family thanks you” for serving and continuing to serve. He recounted that more than 1 in 5 Medal of Honor recipients through U.S. history have been immigrants and spoke of the Legion’s support for immigrant veterans.

    Color guard Seehafer toured the park’s structures and ships, but not before stopping at a pair of monuments to pay respects and lay wreaths.

    The Hispanic veterans monument features both a male and a female figure – said to be rarely combined in one design – and small inset enamel flags from the United States and the 21 Western Hemisphere countries from where most Hispanic American veterans trace their heritage.

    The African American Veterans Monument was dedicated in September 2022. The design stands out from its companion memorials in the park: 12 black concrete pillars 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, in a chronological sequence of the dates of each of the nation’s military conflicts.

    Commander Seehafer also visited another historical military site – the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo – and got to sit in the cockpit of a World War II C-47 transport, cargo and paratrooper plane. “This is more than history,” Seehafer said. “…it brings real moments to life.”

    During his western New York swing, Seehafer said he had a three-fold mission:

    • to continue the national “Be the One” message to raise awareness about  veterans’ suicide;

    • to promote the Legion’s mission of serving veterans and their families;

    • to learn more about the local Legion presence.

    (Excerpted from reports by Laura Edwards for The American Legion and Ben Beagle of Livingston County News)

    National commander at warplane museum
    Photo by Ben Ben Beagle/Livingston County News