Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ready, aim...

Memorial Day Ceremony 2018

The Memorial Day Ceremony at the Downey Cemetery is sponsored by the American Legion Post 270. The American Legion is a volunteer organization chartered by Congress in 1919, and is "committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans."

The Legion has a long history of accomplishments. Here are just a few of the significant dates and events, from the history page on their website:
  • Aug. 9, 1921
    The Legion's efforts result in the creation of the U.S. Veterans Bureau, forerunner of the Veterans Administration. Today, the Legion continues to lobby for adequate funding to cover medical, disability, education and other benefits for veterans.
  • Sept. 19-21, 1942: Preamble to the Constitution of The American Legion is changed for the first and only time since it was written in 1919.  The word “War” is changed to “Wars.”
  • Dec. 15, 1943
    Past National Commander Harry W. Colmery starts to write in longhand, on Mayflower Hotel stationery in Washington, the first draft of what will later become the "GI Bill of Rights" – considered the Legion's single greatest legislative achievement. Higher education becomes democratized after 8 million veterans go to school on the GI Bill, get better jobs, buy houses in the suburbs and raise families.
  • Aug. 26, 1982
    The Legion presents a $1 million check to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for construction of the Wall in Washington, becoming the largest single contributor to the project.
Today, the Legion has over 2 million members worldwide. But local membership is declining, and there are no longer 7 volunteers for the traditional "21-gun" rifle salute. These four volunteers are Michael Murray (US Army), Richard Tuttle (Downey Police Dept), Johnny Croshaw (USMC), and Dean Wright (USAF).

Memorial Day Ceremony 2018

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