It is very rare when an American Legion post can celebrate 3 very special anniversaries in 1 weekend. On Veterans Day (Nov. 10-11), 2018, two out of the three were events we had nothing to do with shaping, but it is part of our preamble “To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars.” The third is also part of the same section of our preamble, but American Legion Post 5 in Colorado Springs did have a large part in causing it to become a real monument in the veterans community.
On Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. at Post 5, we marked the end to “The War To End All Wars” by unveiling the U.S. flag that was given to the post by the city council of Colorado Springs on the post's first anniversary, Aug. 9, 1920. Wait, you say - Armistice Day is Nov. 11. At 4 p.m. in Colorado Springs is midnight going into the 11th. The flag belonged to the Battery C of the 148th Field Artillery of the Colorado National Guard, formed in 1916, and was shipped off to France to fight in the Great War. So, 100 years ago this flag was flying over the battlefield on the last night of the war. When Battery C game home in June 1919 the unit was disbanded, and the U.S. colors were returned to the Elks who purchased the flag for them. The Elks ended up giving the flag to the city of Colorado Springs. The city council in 1920 honored Post 5 with this priceless treasure. The flag would fly over the graves of the service men and woman from Colorado Springs who died in service during the war as they were returned to be laid to rest in their hometown. The flag now has been framed and holds a place of honor in the meeting room in Post 5 with the flagpole.
On Nov. 11 at 8 a.m. in a small snowstorm at the grave, a fallen World War II hero from Colorado Springs was remembered. PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom did his actions to receive the Medal of Honor on Nov. 11, 1943 in Italy. So, to honor the 75th anniversary of PFC Lindstrom's acts of heroism caused a small group to come out in the snow. This year being a special year, Post 5 also connected with a group in Italy to honor Lindstrom and a Lt. Maurice Britt that did his actions to receive his Medal of Honor on Nov. 10, 1943, on the same hill as Floyd. So, using Facebook Live, the people on both sides honored these two heroes. In Colorado Springs we laid a wreath at the grave of Floyd Lindstrom. The laying of the wreath was done by a Post 5 member and Chris Britt, the grandson of Lt Britt. In Italy they lit 2 candles where these two heroes went up the street to go into military and local history.
On Nov. 11, 1968, the Veterans Monument in Colorado Springs was dedicated by Post 5 Commander Reilly. So, 50 years ago Post 5 made sure that all veterans would be honored by helping to push through the Veterans Monument. The main memorial is about 50 feet tall, so you can see it from anywhere inside this large city park. Post 5 not only was the main pusher behind the design and getting the money donated to build this memorial, but also paid for the large flagpole due north of the monument. Over the years small monuments have been placed around the large monument for different parts or types of veterans. From the 89th Div of WWII, Air Force, Navy, Purple Heart, Air Controllers and POW/MIA are just a small group of the monuments that have been placed. In May Colorado Springs Post 5 dedicated the Medal of Honor Monument for the 3 heroes who have their medals accredited to El Paso County, Colorado. This special memorial is placed between the veterans memorial and the flagpole. So on Veterans Day, several groups come together to remember the veterans by laying wreaths at the smaller monuments. These groups also lay wreaths on Memorial Day.
So this year on a weekend in November, Post 5 was able:
To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism;
To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars; and
To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation, by honoring the heroes of the Great War, a local hero and all veterans. So, by your actions your heart is shown. By causing people to pause to remember all who answered the call to protect and help make the community, state and nation a better place.