Baldwin American Legion Celebrates 100 years

Bridget Downes

Originally published in Long Island Herald

IN ATTENDANCE: NYS Senators John Brooks & Todd Kaminsky, Nassau Co. Exec. Laura Curran, Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé, HempsteadTown Supervisor Laura Gillen, NYS Assemblywoman JudyGriffin, & Nassau County American Legion Commander Al Ficalora & Staff.

The Baldwin American Legion Post #246 celebrated its 100th anniversary at its Centennial Gala on Sept. 13. Dozens of people came to the post, located at 2754 Grand Ave., to celebrate and reflect on the birth of the local chapter.

The American Legion was founded in March of 1919 in Paris, France by U.S. World War I military personnel stationed there who dedicated themselves to their service. The Baldwin post, which was established on Aug. 12, 1919, became chartered by the United States Congress a month later.

“Those posts that we recognize at this time of year, in August and September, are actually chartered posts of the entire national American Legion,” said Commander Bob Hare to a room of dozens. “We’re very proud of that.”

There are about 13,000 local posts of the Legion around the world, Hare added. It’s the largest veterans organization that exists today. Nassau County American Legion Commander Al Ficalora, of Baldwin, said that 16 of the 52 posts in Nassau County have existed for 100 years, including those in Baldwin, Freeport, Hempstead, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook and Valley Stream.

“When you look back 100 years ago,” Brooks said, “the vision that those that got together to organize this organization recognizing that those who’ve served were going to have needs to find ways to address those, the foresight was incredible to understand.”