Friday, May 22, 2015
With One Voice, the Legion Exclaims: ‘Let Us Remember’
A Message from Commander Frank Peters
Fleet Week’s parade of Navy, Coast Guard and other ships in New York Harbor is perhaps a fitting segue to Memorial Day – as those ships remain in port through May 25 — a day to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country.
This Memorial Day, American Legion members all across America and all across the great state of New York will be attending memorial services and laying wreaths at community memorials in tribute not only to those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedoms, but also to honor all who served and have reported to Post Everlasting. And in the same spirit that began in Waterloo, New York on May 30, 1866, Legionnaires will join their fellow veterans in solemn processions and participate in decorating the graves of our fellow veterans.
For our American Legion family, it is a time to honor all of our deceased members and remember the great works that they accomplished in advocating for the rights and benefits of all veterans. The founders of our organization knew that a strong unified voice would be necessary to advance the legislative initiatives needed to ensure that veterans who suffered from wounds, disease and want would receive the proper care they deserved when they returned home from the battlefield.
The veterans of WWI did not have a GI Bill to return home to.
After the nation became involved in the second world war, it was the American Legion who went to work and drafted the original GI Bill. It was the American Legion who went “all-in” to ensure its passage. Thanks to the efforts of our departed comrades, there is not a veteran alive today who has not been affected by the benefits of the GI Bill – this is our legacy.
With the 100th anniversary of the American Legion just a few short years away, we need to reach out to our younger veterans and explain to them who we are and why it is so important to join the American Legion and keep this organization strong for the next generation of veterans – and to perpetuate the lessons our founding members taught us about the power of the strong unified voice of advocacy.
This Memorial Day, let us remember all who have served as those fought the good fight for a just and noble cause. Let us be inspired by our memories of them. May their spirits continue to shine through us to consecrate and sanctify our devotion to mutual helpfulness.
For God and Country,
Frank J. Peters, Commander
Department of New York