The annual Military Banquet was first discussed at a meeting in October, 1921, no action was taken. The first banquet was held April 22, 1926, and is has been a annual gathering ever since, and invariably successful. All military people in the locality are invited, ex-service men, National Guard, Military Bands, and miscellaneous military personnel.
The cost of the event was borne by the post for a good many years, but when things got bad financially, a nominal charge was made, and this saved the situation. An effort is always made to get the best speaker available, and we usually had good ones.
MEMORIAL DAY AND ARMISTICE DAY
The first observance of Armistice Day (later changed to Veterans Day), was November 11, 1919, and Col. McCoy of Sparta was the speaker. The ceremony has been held annually since that date. The weather is invariably cold on November 11th, and the exercises, when held outdoors, have been brief and poorly attended, both by the military and the spectators.
Memorial Day is observed by a parade to the cemetery and the services are held at Flanders Field. This has always resulted in a good turnout, as the parade is composed of all local bands, marching units, floats, etc. Memorial Day was established after the Civil War and sponsored by the G.A.R. up to the time of World War l. Shortly after this it was taken over by the American Legion, who carried on the tradition.
The idea of a Poppy Day was originated in 1920, and adopted by this post April 6, 1921, when poppies were purchased. April 20, 1921 the Women Auxiliary of the American Legion was invited to handle the poppy sale for 50% of the profits, and it has been handled on this basis for many years. In early days the members of the Women's Auxiliary had meetings and actually made the poppies, but later they were made by the veterans in the hospitals, and they were purchased from them. The proceeds from this sale is used for rehabilitation, in hospitals and for local cases.
February 4, 1920 the commander appointed a committee to work with the eligible women to organize a Women's Auxiliary to the American Legion. October 20, 1920 the question of a Women's Auxiliary was discussed and a motion made to give the ladies $7.50 to pay for their charter. The organization was completed, and Mrs Walter G. Sexton was elected April 6, 1921 to serve as the first President. Later Mrs Frank Noll served as Department President.
PAST COMMANDERS CLUB
There was considerable talk throughout the years about a past commanders club, but nothing was ever done. Prior to 1950 a club was organized, but did not accomplish very much. January 17, 1959, the past commanders club was again organized and a copy of the minutes of this meeting is attached to this history.
ORGANIZATION MEETING OF THE PAST COMMANDERSOF
LESSELYONG-SADOWSKA POST 54 OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
Past Commanders present;
Alvin Hansen Richard Hansen Anthony Knott
George S Wood Elmer Thuss Elmer Marten
Ed Buchmiller Chas. M Pors Arthur O. Neinas
Glen D Tinkham Walter V Mueller Dr. H Baldwin
Kenneth Olstinski Kenneth Pucker Ferd. Thums
Meeting called to order by Kenneth Pucker.
Motion, duly seconded and carried that Kenneth Pucker act as trmpotary chairman, and George S. Wood act as temporary secretary.
Motion, duly seconded and carried, that the past commanders of Lesselyong-Sadowska Post 54 of the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion organize a Past Commanders Club, without any present National or State affiliations.
Motin that Kenneth Pucker be nominated President. The motion was seconded, and there being no further nominations, Kenneth Pucker was elected unanimously.
Motion that Richard Hanson be nominated Secretary and Treasurer. The motion was seconded and there be no further nominations, Richard Hansen was elected unanimously.
Motion duly seconded and carried, that we have no constitution, by-laws or dues.
Remarks by President Pucker: One of the purposes of the Past Commanders Club is to be available when called upon for guidance and assistance to incoming commanders. At present we have no problems, but in future we may have some great problems, and it should be our duty to be available for guidance and assistance to new commanders, and they should know that they can call on the club for any assistance.
Motion by Richard Hansen, seconded by Chas. Pors that after July 4th that all flags should be removed from graves in the various cemeteries in this area, so that they will not become an eyesore, and that a committee should be appointed to work with Henry Felhoefer to accomplish this. Motion carried.
Motion by Neinas, seconded by Knott that the committee that put this very fine dinner be given a vote of thanks. Motion Carried.
George S. Wood
Metting held at the club Room of the American Legion on Saturday, the 17th of January, 1959.