100 Years of Serving the Lebanon Community
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – President John F. Kennedy”
That famous quotation carries an emotional message for all, but it is especially meaningful for The American Legion and Guyer-Carignan Post 22 whose devoted members have been carrying out that tradition for 100 years! They have proven that actions speak louder than words.
Just how significant is this milestone? Post 22 is entering its Centennial Birthday in 2019. Post 22 is a Centennial Post in District 6, Department of New Hampshire with the Charter date of July 15, 1919. To highlight this big event, Guyer-Carignan has established a Centennial Committee headed up by Wayne Aldrich to celebrate 100 years of service to our veterans, the community, the State and Nation. The American Legion’s legacy rests with the four pillars by which it conducts all business: Veterans, Defense, Youth and Americanism.
Chairman Wayne Aldrich noted the sheer excitement this event has created in the community and is inviting everyone to take part in this milestone celebration.
“On October 6, 2019, the Centennial Committee will have a luncheon at the Post 22 home from noon to 2pm. Come in and see what the Post is doing to celebrate 100 years. It’s not just the Legion, this is about the whole Legion Family. There is more history that needs to be found, old photos from years past, newspaper stories plus many other things. If anyone has old photos, newspaper articles from past years or anything that is about our Post, please bring them in and we will make copies. Whatever you have would be greatly appreciated. Also there are vacant Committee Chairs and we need volunteers to fill them.”
Post 22 has a rich heritage to honor starting with the very beginning 100 years ago. The following record from the archives illustrates how it all started. “Through the efforts of a few good men: Julian Von Toble, Harry Manson, Charlie Goss, Charles Stevens and a few others, the Post got its temporary charter issued on July 15, 1919 installing Julian Von Toble as Commander and Harold Hadley as Adjutant.”
Arthur G. Guyer Post No. 22; Lebanon, New Hampshire
Another historic highlight for Post 22 is related to the fact that they still maintain possession of the original Post 22 American flag and that cherished relic was used during a victory parade staged in Paris, France in 1927. Post 22 has devoted strong efforts to cherish the American flag and now offers a box outside their location at 189 Mechanic Street where community members can deposit tattered and worn flags. Once a year, Post 22 has an official flag disposal ceremony with all flags collected. They urge everyone not to throw away old flags but deposit them in the box provided. There is no charge.
While Post 22 is celebrating the past with this special celebration, they are still intently focused on the future and are quick to point out with Legionaries, The Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion, and the American Legion Riders, they number 600 strong and growing. A remarkable feat when you consider that the national trend appears to have the number of American Legion Posts fading from existence. Of the 69 original Posts, only some 41 remain active today. Post 22 has gained the reputation as one of the most active and productive on the list.
Just how active is Post 22 with all their programs? They support the very successful Post 22 Legion Baseball program that had been revived in 1993 and has grown at a record pace under the direction of Pete St. Pierre. In addition they maintain the following: Boys & Girls State (teaching American Youth about our government); Numerous Scholarships, the revision of the Cub Scouts Troop 279; flag education; Oratorical Contests; Honor Guard Services (29 from 2018-19); membership dues for WWII & Korean war Vets; a fuel assistance program for Vets thanks to the fundraising efforts by Lebanon golfing legend Rich Parker.
Eric Morrill, Mary Greenwood, Charles Therriault, and Walt Madore
Post 22 fully supports the Lebanon community and the Upper Valley in many facets that often fly under the radar. The charitable contributions list is extensive: David’s House; Operation Military Kids; Friends of Veterans; Moore Mart; CCBA; VNA & Hospice; NH Veterans Home in Tilton, NH; Special Olympics; local children attending sports camps, tournaments, or class trips; Relay for Life; Food Pantries; Toys For Tots; Care Package to Active Duty serving overseas; Troop Support and Operation Comfort Warriors.
One of the biggest and most traditional events sponsored by Post 22 is the upcoming Memorial Day Parade in Lebanon. To that end, Wayne Aldrich noted that this year’s parade event will take on special meaning.
“We are going all out for this year,” Wayne explained. “We will have a float in the parade for the very first time. This is always a special event for us but even more so during the Centennial Celebration.”
As part of the Memorial Day tribute you will see Post 22 members and volunteers around the Upper Valley offering poppies made from red crepe paper to the public. They stress these are not being sold, but distribute them to honor fallen heroes and accept contributions. This tradition is based on the poem Flanders Field and is handled by the Legion Auxiliary members with all donations benefiting disabled Veterans. The Poppy became the National Memorial Flower in 1920.