On March 15 in the year 1919, members of the American Expeditionary Force convened in Paris, France, to form The American Legion. That is the date established as the birthday of the Legion.
Later that year a group of servicemen who had returned from the war to their homes in Merchantville met to form a local post.
From those humble beginnings in 1919, Frederick W. Grigg Post 68 continues to serve the veterans of the Merchantville-Pennsauken area.
To kick off the centennial-year celebration, the post held a centennial gala. Legionnaires, friends and dignitaries from across the state gathered on Jan. 12 at the Pennsauken Country Club. Much of the 100 years’ worth of memorabilia was displayed, including the original handwritten minutes of that first meeting.
Department Of New Jersey National Executive Committeeman Chuck Robbins spoke about the history of the Legion and recognized the post as the first in the state to have a kickoff celebration.
The gala was the first of many events the post has planned for the year.
One of the Four Pillars of the Legion is “Children & Youth.” February is celebrated as Scout month. The post has been supported over the years by BSA Troops 118 & 119. Both will be recognized for their support and participation over the years. Each will also be presented with a campership to support their troop summer camp experience.
Later in the year will be a dedication of the renaming of a portion of West Chestnut Ave. as “CORP GRIGG Way”. Grigg is the namesake of the post and lived at 20 West Chestnut.
August 11 was the date of the first meeting of the post. There will be a recreation of that meeting.
Planning is well underway for improvements and enhancements to the World War I and World War II monuments at Wellwood Park.
The traditional flagging on veterans graves at 4 cemeteries in Pennsauken, and the annual Memorial Day service, will take on special meaning this year.