THE AMERICAN LEGION 88 YEARS AND COUNTING

The American Legion Post 241 in Waynedale recognized The American Legion’s 88th Anniversary, Saturday, March 17, along with nearly 300 other American Legions in the United States. In March 1919, roughly 1,000 officers and enlisted men attended the first organization meeting in Paris in response to a proposal from Theodore Roosevelt Jr. to form an organization of veterans following the First World War. The meeting became known as the Paris Caucus. At the Paris Caucus, a temporary constitution was formed and the organization took on the name The American Legion. Within the months following the Paris Caucus, the constitution was completed and in September 1919 the constitution was made permanent and Congress granted The American Legion a national charter.

Waynedale Post 241 opened in 1946 and has been making a difference in our community ever since. Post 241 is involved in numerous programs that help educate our youth about politics and how the government operates including Hoosier Boys State and Hoosier Girls State. The post is also involved in other youth programs including Boy Scouts, the Elmhurst Band, Elmhurst Little League Baseball, and Junior AFROTC in the Waynedale area. Legion Post 241 helps these organizations through volunteering time and donations. Youth programs, like the ones listed, help our youth learn skills necessary for later in life such as discipline, integrity, and respect. Some even help our youth to gain insight into our military.

The American Legion Post 241 in Waynedale also contributes to our community in other ways. During the Christmas season, they participate in passing out food baskets for the needy, working with other local organizations like St. Therese Church and The Community Harvest Food Bank. Post 241 also donates money throughout the year to numerous churches in the Waynedale area.

The Memorial Day parade in Waynedale owes some of its success to The American Legion Post 241. When Waynedale became part of Fort Wayne, the Waynedale community worried that it would lose some of its traditions. Post 241 helped to keep the Waynedale Memorial Day Parade going. Every year following the parade, members of the Legion’s Honor Guard congregate at the Prairie Grove Cemetery for a ceremony for deceased veterans. The Honor Guard provides service for families of deceased veterans, including a flag folding ceremony, the playing of taps, and a speech honoring the lost veteran during the funeral. Post 241 performs between 50 and 60 funeral services a year.

These are only a few of the services that Post 241 offers our community. So many lives have been touched by the care and compassion shown by our veterans. While we recognize the dedication and service they have provided to our nation, let us also take a moment to recognize the difference they make in our community.

The Waynedale News Staff

Jessica E. Williams

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