An anniversary added even more to an already important holiday for veterans as the local American Legion Post 13 in Anamosa celebrated not only 100 years of the American Legion, but the century mark of their post.
The American Legion was founded on March 15, 1919 in Paris, France in the aftermath of World War I and the local post, named after Pvt. Arthur McCullough of Anamosa, was founded just more than two months later on May 28.
To celebrate both the national and local milestone, an open house was held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Legion on the eve of their founding. Post Commander Ken Humpal said in planning the celebration, it just made sense to pair it with the Memorial Day ceremony as it offered an easy opportunity to get the word out.
The preparations for the celebration had been going on for three months to prepare for the day. During the course of the preparation, Humpal said what stood out to him as he looked back was the numbers from the post’s earlier days, with the post reaching a peak of 398 members at one point.
The event, in addition to being a celebration, was an opportunity to educate the public on the important work the Legion does in the community, like providing scholarships, providing military honors at funerals and putting flags out by graves.
As he looked out over the crowd, Humpal saw many Legion members and that coming together, he said, was at the heart of the mission of the organization.
“That’s what it’s all about. Veterans are a unit. We’re a family. We stick together,” he said.
“We’re always here to help any veteran if they need something.”