Friends, it is with a humbled heart that I inform you that tonight I was elected by my fellow veterans to serve as commander for a 3rd year, and I suspect my last year as commander. Words cannot express how grateful I am to be entrusted by those I admire most with such respect and their confidence in me to do what is right.
We live in a time where our nation’s cultural, moral and patriotic values have been under attack for decades. Prayer has been removed from schools. The U.S. Flag is no longer protected from desecration. The Boy Scouts of America have faced serious legal challenges in some communities they serve. Immigration laws are defied. References to God on U.S. currency, in the Pledge of Allegiance and on public monuments have been challenged by a minority of voices whose vision for America is far different than that of our founding fathers.
I am proud to be a part of The American Legion which is an organization dedicated to God and country, with a membership of military veterans who take deep pride in the U.S. Flag and all that it means. Since its inception 100 years ago, the Legion has been a stalwart champion of patriotic values, morals, culture and citizenship. The Legion’s pillar of Americanism embodies its devotion to law and order, the raising of wholesome youth, an educated and law-abiding citizenship, and respectful observance of patriotic holidays and remembrances. I am honored to serve such an organization and it’s members with all my might.
To all my fellow officers who were elected tonight, I pray:
Our Father, we thank Thee for the year we have completed, for its successes, for strength given us by Thee to overcome its failures. As we face a new year together, give us patience and understanding for our fellowman; give us wisdom in our decisions, and Thy aid in building a better organization. Give Thy special blessing to all those who assume duties of leadership. Walk with each of us in heart and mind, day by day, so that we may continue to serve our God and our country.