WILMINGTON — In March 1919, shortly after World War I, a group of that war-weary veterans got together in Paris, France to discuss the needs of and care for veterans and their families. “The Paris Caucus”, as it is known, was hastily pulled together by a young Army officer named Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
Over the next several days, the attendees reached an overwhelming consensus, the United States government needed to do more for its returning veterans.
This “band of brothers” brought their message and ambition home. And, on Sept. 16, 1919, the U.S. Congress chartered the American Legion, which quickly became the largest veterans organization in the country. In the halls of Congress, this non-partisan, non-profit, patriotic group is now recognized as the voice of the veteran.
The many successes of the American Legion comes from the dedication and hard work of its members. In a special program, Wilmington Veterans Post 49 Commander Jim Cook, recognized some local members for their many years of service with certificates and lapel pins.
Of the 172 Post 49 members with 20 or more years continuous membership, special recognition was paid to the 50-, 55-, 65- and 70-year members: Terry Kerr, 50 years; Marvin Ferris, Wilbert Ward and Kenneth Rothwell, 55 years; James Cochran, 65 years; and Leonard Wical, Bob Ewing, and James Foland 70 years. They were all present for the Feb. 20 ceremony.
Following the presentations, Commander Cook said, “There will be another program sometime before Memorial Day to recognize those not present. Watch your post newsletter for the date and time.”