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November Commander’s Corner
Envision Rumford organized a great and successful Oktoberfest on October 20. It brought the Island community together like it should be. Everyone that had events whether they were on the Island or elsewhere in Rumford had great turnouts. I know the kitchen staff at the Legion did not expect the turnout for the pumpkin pancake breakfast, but loved the challenge to keep up with the demand for more food. The staff had a ball! Hope for a repeat next year.
It has been awhile, but we had a public supper on October 26 with a Mexican Meal. The next one will be this Friday from 5-7 p.m. or until sold out. Hall rentals are starting to pick up, so if you are looking for a place to hold a function, keep us in mind. We will be hosting a New Years’ Eve Dance this year, with the band Roadhouse providing the music. More will follow in the coming weeks.
Membership is currently at 69%, which is not too bad but I know we can do better. Another mailing of dues reminders have been sent out and some dues are coming in, so please if you haven’t paid your 2013 dues as of yet, do so!
This month’s Legion Position is on Economics. When the American Legion wrote the first draft of the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944, it changed the course of history. A generation of heroes was able to obtain higher education, achieve home ownership and live the American dream. But the dream has been harder to achieve for recent veterans as unemployment has risen, homelessness has increased and tuition rates have skyrocketed. The American Legion led the way for the enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, a new GI Bill for the current generation of veterans and their families. The American Legion continues to push for improvements to the GI Bill regarding accessibility to benefits and educational expenses covered. The American Legion believes that America owes its very existence to the men and women who have protected, sacrificed, and served our country honorably. As such, citizens of the United States have an obligation to ensure that veterans are able to enjoy the economic benefits of living in the most industrialized society in the world.
This month’s Legion Program is Blue and Gold Star Banners. Service banners are symbols of sacrifice. The Blue Star on a field of white with red border is displayed in windows of the homes of U.S. servicemembers’ families. The Gold Stars are displayed by the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – while serving their country.
Service banners date back to WWI. The Blue Star Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by Army Capt. Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry, who had two sons serving on the front lines. It quickly became the unofficial symbol of having a child in the service. When WWI began yielding fatalities, gold stars were substituted and stitched onto banners, completely covering the blue stars. During WWII, the Department of War issued specification on the manufacture of the banner as well as guidelines indicating when and by whom, the service flag could be flown.
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the National Commander asked the American Legion family to accelerate the implementation of Resolution 107, passed at the National Convention in August 2001, which reinstated the Blue Star Service Banner program. Legion Posts are encouraged to distribute a banner to each family in the community who has a relative serving in the war on terrorism.
Service banners are available from Emblem Sales by calling toll-free, (888)453-4466. Specify item #825.101 for Blue Star Banners, 825.101G for Gold Star and 825.101D for Gold Star Deluxe Banners. As Legionnaires, we proudly encourage military families to display the banners in recognition of the sacrifices made by their loved ones.
The above information was obtained from an American Legion booklet from National Headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.
The events for Veterans Day, Sunday are as follows: ceremony at MVHS will be at 10 a.m. Any veterans wishing to march in with us please be in the cafeteria by 9:30 a.m. to prepare for line up. A brief ceremony will be held at the Western Maine’s Veterans Home in South Paris at 2 p.m., which I will be the guest speaker. We plan to car pool to this event. If you wish to join us please meet at the Post by 12:30 p.m. You do not have to be a veteran or member of a Veteran Service Organization (VSO) to attend either of these events.
If you are a veteran and are thinking about joining the American Legion you must have been assigned to active duty at some time during any of the following periods: December 7,1941 to December 31, 1946; June 25, 1950 to January 31, 1955; February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975; August 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984; December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990; August 2, 1990 to the date of cessation of hostilities as determined by the Government of the United States.
If you have any question please stop by the Post and ask to talk to an Officer or give me a call at 357-3287. Hope to see you this Veteran’s Day Ceremonies.