Our preamble reminds us “To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars.” I also believe we also need to preserve the memories of our local post. Colorado Springs Post 5 had a very rich history to try to protect from time itself. We received our charter on Aug 9, 1919, but you could say we started in May 1919 when we received our temporary charter.
I could focus on our post commanders, who were not only movers in the post but were pillars in the community of Colorado Springs. Their actions effected the whole of Colorado Springs and in ways the state of Colorado, and in ways the nation as well. Ways to honor the ones who died/KIA during the Great War included planting trees in local parks, and then pushing the idea of a Memorial Park with a tall Veterans Memorial and smaller monuments circling it to honor different things to respect service while in the military. Purple Hearts, units, Medal of Honor and the POW/MIAs. Commanders have held elected offices and others pushed to have military installations come to Colorado Springs. Fort Carson and the Air Force Academy came to Colorado Springs because of the work of our past commanders who saw that Colorado Springs was a great fit for them.
What I want to focus on is the items Post 5 has collected over the 99 years we have been servicing Colorado Springs. There are many plaques and letters of thanks for the things we have done, such as a piece of the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic at Colorado Springs because we took the lead in naming the clinic for a forgotten Medal of Honor awardee from Colorado Springs. There are war trophies from several conflicts.
The one thing our history crew came across was an rolled-up U.S. flag on an odd-looking flagpole that had a heavy eagle on top and a carved ball at the bottom. At one time this was hung from a shelf by red, white and blue ribbon but over time the ribbon gave way. As we pulled this long-forgotten piece of history that somebody else might think about retiring, the history crew saw that it needed to be saved. There was a brass plate telling us that this flag needs to be preserved. “Presented to Colorado Springs American Legion Post 5 from Colorado Springs city council on Aug 9, 1920,” which was our 1st anniversary. Come to find out our commander was the city clerk at the time, so I am sure it was a way to honor him as well. To the history crew this flag became our “Star-Spangled Banner” for Post 5. No matter how it looks, we wanted to save and display for everyone, not hide it in a museum room in the basement. We will display it in the meeting room of the post for all to enjoy it.
Seeing that the outside of the roll of the flag is starting to fall apart, we did not unroll it. We estimated the size and talked to a framing company. We received their estimation of $1,400 for the framing. On Aug 25 we held our “Restore Our Flag” potluck dinner. Members of the post were asked to bring food and pay $20 a person to help raise money. With the money raised from dinner, 50/50 and items sold, we came within $200 of the $1,400 because Squadron 5 of the Sons of The American Legion donated $500.
In a few months, if all goes well, we will unveil the Anniversary Flag for all to enjoy and respect again after 58 years. We are doing our best to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in and out of the uniform of our nation. Like it was said at the Restore Our Flag event, this flag is not only for our post but for The American Legion as a whole because it shows the impact the Legion has held in the community, state and nation.