During the Belle Plaine City Council meeting on Sept. 3, Mayor Chris Meyer declared Monday, Sept. 16, as “American Legion Centennial Day”. During the presentation of the proclamation, Mayor Meyer praised the veterans service organization, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary through Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
The American Legion has built a legacy of dedicated service to veterans, the military, families, and communities since its founding in March 1919. The national organization was formally chartered by Congress on Sept. 16, 1919.
Meyer presented the proclamation to Post 144 Adjutant Warren Wolf and thanked the Legion for all they do for the community.
The Legion family has a legacy of community volunteerism and played a role in many major programs and developments, such as the U.S. Flag Code, passage of the GI Bill, youth programs, readiness to assist in national disasters, support for our nation’s troops in the global war on terrorism, and acceptance of Agent Orange exposure as a cause for adverse health effects among veterans of the Vietnam War.
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, the American Legion was founded on four pillars of a strong national security, veterans’ affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,0009 posts across the nation and around the world.
A History of Serving Veterans and America
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. The founders were members of the American Expeditionary Forces still stationed in Europe awaiting passage home from World War I. Their experience in what was called the “war to end all wars” shaped a challenging agenda for what became the nation’s largest organization of veterans.
Soon after the war’s end, these veterans realized how poorly prepared the United States was to assist a wave of disabled and unemployed veterans who faced uncertain futures in their communities, states and nation.
The organization is committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to fellow service members and veterans. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs, educating youth about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness.
The Legion also raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families during times of need and to provide college scholarship opportunities.
In addition to the American Legion there are three other organizations that are a part of the American Legion family, including the American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders.
Belle Plaine American Legion Family
In Belle Plaine there are over 100 members in the three organizations of the American Legion Family, including the American Legion, the Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion.
The name of the Belle Plaine Legion is Leo B. Neubeiser Post 144, which was chartered and organized in 1942. The Post meets regularly from September through May and sponsors the American Legion Baseball Program that involves primarily high school youth with adult volunteers who coach and run the program. Other community programs and activities sponsored and supported by the American Legion include Boys’ State, Legionville and the Bloodmobile. The Legion also donates money to local programs, including Belle Plaine Dollars for Scholars, Scott County Future Leaders Program, Camp Courage, the food shelf, Christmas gifts to shut-in veterans, and other charities in the area and throughout the state. To fund these programs and donations, the American Legion has a poultry and ham Bingo and raffle fundraiser the first Friday in December each year.
There are five veterans organization in Belle Plaine that work together in organizing and participating in community programs and activities. In addition to the three Legion organizations, there are the Veterans of Foreign Wars (V.F.W.) and the V.FW. Auxiliary. Some of the annual events they participate together in include the Belle Plaine Memorial Day program held at Veterans’ Memorial Park, the public schools, The Lutheran Home, and Kingsway Retirement Living.
In 1974, The American Legion and the V.F.W. purchased a post home for its members in the former theatre building in downtown Belle Plaine, serving as a meeting place for the veterans organizations and community events.
A History of the Legion’s Founder
A history of the American Legion Post 144 founder, Leo B. Neubeiser, will be included in next week’s Belle Plaine Herald, written by J. Robert Neubeiser who is the great grandson of Louis Neubeiser (brother of Franz Josef) and the third cousin of Leo Neubeiser.
Office of the Mayor, Belle Plaine, Minnesota
American Legion Centennial Day
WHEREAS, The American Legion has been a staunch advocate for veterans and their families since 1919; and
WHEREAS, The American Legion was founded on the four pillars of care for veterans, a strong national defense, Americanism, and children and youth; and
WHEREAS, The American Legion has played a leading role in initiatives and breakthroughs that have affected the lives of Americans in every community, from U.S. Flag Code to the GI Bill; and
WHEREAS, the Leo B. Neubeiser Post 144 has fulfilled the Legion’s mission since 1942 through programs such as American League Baseball, Boys’ State and Scholarship programs; and
WHEREAS, The American Legion is celebrating its centennial in 2018-2019;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christopher G. Meyer, Mayor of the City of Belle Plaine of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim September 16, 2019 as “American Legion Centennial Day.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the official seal of The City of Belle Plaine on the 3rd day of September 2019.