By: Richard Humphrey, Department Commander, As Published in the June 2015 Internet Observer
I guess this will be my final report to the membership as your Department Commander, except for that given at the State Convention. It has been a very enjoyable year getting around to the Districts and meeting the Legionnaires present. I was able to visit several of the District Conventions and to swear in the new District Officers this last two months. Regrettably, I was not able to make all of the conventions, but when several are held at the same date and same time, it a little hard to do. I tried to make those districts that don’t usually see any of the State officers on a regular basis, so I trust these visits were appreciated.
As you have seen in the Observer, there will be several officer positions that will need to be voted on at the state convention. Your presence at the convention will therefore be very important. Your vote is needed. All of the individuals running for a position in your state organization are all well qualified so your choice becomes very important. There will also be several resolutions brought before the delegation. So again your vote is needed.
There are still a lot of veterans out there that have no idea what The American Legion is or what we do. That has to change and it will change. We are a stronger organization; we are getting our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans into the Legion, but it is a slow task and with every month and year that passes it will get better. They are our future leaders and it is now our position as Post, District and Department Officers to guide them through the ranks of our organization so that it will be even stronger.
Even though we did not make our membership goal for the year, I am still very proud of the membership we have. You have done an outstanding job this year getting new members into the Legion, starting new posts around the state and revitalizing some that they thought were lost. Keep up the great work. We are the strongest organization devoted to our nation’s veterans.
I realize this is a little late, but thought it interesting. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th 1868 by the leader of the Grand Army of the Republic, and first observed on May 30th 1868 by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. You have continued this tradition for almost 150 years. Let us pledge to respect and care for the veteran; let us pledge to never forget and to honor those who have gone before us and especially those who have given all so that we may live free. WE VETERANS OF OUR WAR WILL REMEMBER ALWAYS THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US.
June 14th is Flag Day. This will be a time to honor our Nation’s Flag and those that have gone before us. Please make that pledge.