We are now in May and it is with hope that this newsletter finds all of you well. Many have had their vaccines; other had the virus and some had both. (It is hopeful that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.) However, if you are still recovering from the virus, our thoughts and prayers are with you. This is the month where we will begin to get back to some normality. It is also, the last month to get your membership in for 2020-2021 Legion year. It is our legacy – It is your legacy. All District and Post Commanders you have the final push to achieve goal.
May is a busy month all of us; Mother’s Day, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day just to name a few. This year, Armed Forces Day Dinner will be hosted by the 2nd Division on Saturday, April 15, 2021. (We rotate between 1st and 2nd Divisions; it is their year. The flier can be found herein and is open to all Legion Family.) Also, during Armed Forces week, American Legion National Commander will be traveling throughout the state. The plan is for Commander Oxford to visit the new Chicago Veterans’ Home, present a gift from the American Legion for future residents and then attend the Department Armed Forces and Awards Dinner, for 1st Division’s awardees, guests, and members, on Thursday. Congratulations to all award winners!
Memorial Day has been planned by most posts. It reminds me as we see some changes in this great land of ours; it is the following that some may not understand. (If you do and most of us will understand.) Memorial Day is a focus for all of us. It should not have to be said that it is a day for remembering, that is what Memorial Day is about. We do not say happy Memorial Day or go to a sale. There is nothing happy about those that have given the ultimate sacrifice. Nor do we make it cheap by thinking about a sale. It is a day of giving our respect. We ensure that the cemeteries, where those fallen brothers and sister are laid to rest, have flags firmly planted in the ground. It is a day when we speak of the actions that they bravely made so that we may have the freedoms of today. We plan for Memorial Day ceremonies so that folks hear the 21-gun salute given for our fallen and then silence at the first note of Taps. We speak to remember. We speak to ensure Americans remember.
Last month, we had the 2nd Annual Veterans Ball, which was a huge success. It was a pleasure to have Department SVC Fischer and his wife in attendance. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Bernie Darmetko and Commander Anthony Sicilliano, both had worked tirelessly on this event. We are grateful to Post 974 Franklin Park in getting more than one table for this event. Additional appreciation to Orland Memorial Post 111 and 3rd District on getting a full table for this event. Also, appreciation to all those individuals that assisted in the event, “Thank You”. This year, as part of our outreach committee (an initiative that was introduced at Department training a year and half ago), was achieved at the event which was the inclusion of two other veterans’ organizations.
Lastly, Posts’ delegates plan on the mini convention on June 5th. Legionnaires, plan on attending Department of Illinois’ State Convention July 14, 2021 – July 17, 2021. Make this happen for your POST! Here is the link to all items of the STATE Convention: https://www.illegion.org/event/department-convention