The American Legion is turning 100 years old, and Harney County Post 63 plans to celebrate.
The post, which is located in Burns, was chartered Dec. 16, 1919. The American Legion traces its roots to March 15-17, 1919, in Paris, France, in the aftermath of World War I. The organization was federally chartered on Sept. 16, 1919, and quickly became an influential force at the national, state, and local levels, dedicated to service to veterans, strong national defense, youth, and patriotism.
A year after it was formed, The American Legion had chartered more than 5,400 local posts that continue to operate today. Since then, it has grown to more than 13,000 posts around the world, from the Asia-Pacific region, to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Europe, the 50 states and District of Columbia and more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran members. Throughout its first century, The American Legion built a legacy on such accomplishments as leading the way to create U.S. Flag Code; helping start the Veterans Administration; drafting and getting the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (GI Bill) passed, which transformed America in the second half of the 20th century; and helping veterans receive benefits for health-care conditions based on their honorable service, including acceptance of Agent Orange exposure as service-connected. Today, The American Legion has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits claims and other concerns.
Named after Harney County, Post 63 currently numbers 87 members plus 64 in the affiliated American Legion Auxiliary. Among those