An American Legion Post 716 in Los Alamitos is preparing for its Centennial celebration, according to spokesperson Lisa Massion.
“The American Legion is turning 100 and the Post is planning to celebrate and would love to make it a community event,” she said.
The American Legion organization traces its roots to March 15-17, 1919, in Paris, France, in the aftermath of World War I. The American Legion was federally chartered on Sept. 16, 1919, and quickly became an influential force at the national, state and local levels, dedicated to service to veterans, strong national defense, youth and patriotism, she said in the statement.
A year after it was formed, The American Legion had chartered more than 5,400 local posts that continue to operate today.
Since then, it has grown to more than 13,000 posts around the world, with more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran members. Throughout its first century, The American Legion built a legacy on such accomplishments as leading the way to create U.S. Flag Code, helping start the Veterans Administration, drafting and getting passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – the GI Bill – which transformed America in the second half of the 20th century, and helping veterans receive benefits for health-care conditions based on their honorable service, including acceptance of Agent Orange exposure as service-connected.
Today, The American Legion has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits claims and other concerns. The American Legion Family of Los Alamitos is excited to share both the legacy and the vision of our organization.
She said Post president Deborah Driscoll will be doing a presentation at the Los Alamitos city council meeting to highlight Poppy Month, which will kick off the Legion Centennial upcoming celebration.
“We will be hosting two community events we would love to invite the community to attend,” she said. On Memorial Day, May 27 2019 from 2:00-5:00pm we will host a BBQ on charbroiled hamburgers and hot dogs and have raffles, prizes, and games. Cost is free for members and $5.00 for non-members. Our Centennial 100th Party will be on Veterans Day November 11, 2019 more information to follow when we get closer to the day.
Massion said the Poppy flower symbolizes “our appreciation for the sacrifices of our honored dead young women and men who gave their lives in battle. These iconic red poppies are an outward symbol of our support.”
The American Legion Unit 716 asks that every American citizen wear a poppy or even the color red for the observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 as mute evidence of our gratitude to the men and women of this country who have risked their lives in defense of the freedoms which we continue to enjoy as American citizens. In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered the poppy seeds, which allowed the flowers to grow. The red poppies immediately came to symbolize the bloodshed of war. American veterans remembered the wild poppies lining the devastated battlefields of Belgium and France.
She said the Centennial and Poppy Day will be a “wonderful opportunity to bring recognition to the community and the Military for the City of Los Alamitos”