Friday, February 12, 2021

American Legion celebrates ‘Americanism Month’

By David Tanguay

February is 'Americanism Month' for American
Legion Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham.

Special to The Windham Eagle

“Americanism,” one of the American Legion’s four pillars, is the love of America, loyalty to its ideals and institutions, allegiance to the American flag, willingness to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and a desire to advance the blessings of liberty to future Americanism generations.

February is the American Legion’s National Americanism Month. During this annual observance, the American Legion post asks that its members and all citizens reflect upon what it means to be an American and rededicate ourselves and our posts and to taking action that will uphold the principle of “100 percent Americanism.”

The Americanism Pillar is divided into: Youth Programs, Flag Programs, Support for Veterans, and Community Outreach. The American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham has an Americanism Officer, David Horne, who annually coordinates and supports a variety of programs and projects that reflect the Americanism principals with support from the community and the post membership.

Under youth programs, the post supports the annual Boys State and Girls State (ALA Sponsored) program. The plan for 2020 was to begin the integration of these two programs, but, due to the pandemic, was canceled for that June. The program tutors our high school juniors in the process of local and state government and has sufficient funds to support four boys this year with scholarships. The Unit Auxiliary supports the same precepts for Girls State. Selections for Boys and Girls State will be in April. The post annually selects a male and female graduating student from the class who exemplifies leadership in school and the community.  The recipients receive a leadership “School” medallion, pin and certificate and is awarded a modest scholarship for use in their education.

The American Flag, the symbol of our great country, is a key precept of the Americanism Program.  The Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham supports flag etiquette and training programs for various organizations and schools.  If there is interest in these training opportunities, give the post a call. For the Flags Around Town Program, the post undertook an Americanism program in 2005 in collaboration with the town to place 100 U.S. flags on the utility poles on the highways and byways of Windham. In May of this year, the post will be undertaking that same goal for the 15th consecutive year. 

Other programs that directly or indirectly support include our support for veterans and national security, blood drives and food drives.  Nationally, the American Legion supports more Red Cross blood drives than any other organization in the country. Since last June, the Post has collected on average of 30 units each, covering six events at the Windham Veterans Center. Additionally, the post collects food items annually for the local food pantry over Memorial Day weekend and collects food items in support of the Portland Vet Center food pantry for homeless veterans on a weekly basis at the Windham Veterans Center from 9 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. The response since November from the community has been overwhelming and much appreciated.

The post also sponsors a very successful Vet Coffee program held each Wednesday at the Windham veterans Center from 9 to 11 a.m. This coffee gathering is multi-faceted in that it provides opportunity for local veterans to “drop-in” for a social experience with their peers. It also has a therapeutic element with many of our vets that gives them an opportunity to share experiences in a safe environment.

Americanism programs are a year-round opportunity for our members to serve their community. Often, they do not get the credit that they are due. If you see a Veteran, thank them for their service. If you see a Legion Member, thank them as well for all they do in your community.

If you want to be part of the team? Contact the Field-Allen Post Adjutant Dave Tanguay at 207-892-1306 or ask any post member. <

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