Veterans church service

Berryville, VA

On Sunday, Nov. 9, members of Lloyd Williams Post 41 attended morning worship service at the Berryville Baptist Church. We were joined by Legion family members and other local veterans. This is one small way that our small post gives life and meaning to the Legion motto, "For God and Country."

For almost 60 years, Post 41 members have been attending a local church service as a group on the Sunday closest to Veterans Day. But how did this tradition get started?

At The American Legion's 1951 convention, it formally endorsed a "Back to God" movement. This was a "crusade" to being the American people back to God, making America a great moral and spiritual force in the world. The program was implemented in February 1955 on the anniversary of the sinking of USAT Dorchester and the sacrifice of the Four Chaplains.

Post 41 decided that an appropriate way to implement this program, and to further enhance the spiritual foundation of our nation, would be to attend a local church service as a group each year. On Feb. 20, 1955, they attended church services at the Berryville Presbyterian Church. A few years later, Post 41 decided to attend a local church service on the Sunday closest to Veterans Day each year. This tradition is continued today and is rotated among the local churches.

It is important to remember that from its beginning, every American Legion meeting has started with members reciting a pledge to service “For God and Country.” This has continuously emphasized the spiritual foundations of our freedom.

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