Glennallen ALA

Location: Glennallen, Alaska, United States

Glennallen American Legion Post 27 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 27 were founded 50 years ago to provide comradeship and service to veterans of the Copper River Basin. Regular meetings are at 6 PM on the first Wednesday of every month, and monthly dinners on the third Saturday of the month, October through July. When you visit Alaska, come see us!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Pearl Harbor Day

With Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day coming up on December 7th, I thought I'd take a look at President Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" Speech. Here is part of what he said:

But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught
against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated
invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to
absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of
the People when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the
uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall
never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact
that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With
confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our
People - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Veterans, including Legionnaires, from all around the Copper Basin attended the ceremonies at Kenny Lake School.

American Legion Post 27 Commander was the keynote speaker at Kenny Lake School's 2005 Veterans Day Program.

Veterans Day Program at Kenny Lake School

Kenny Lake School held its annual Veterans Day Program, “Honoring All Who Served”, on Friday, November 11th , at 11:00 AM. They invited area veterans to attend the ceremony and take lunch with the students. Glennallen’s American Legion Post Commander was the guest speaker.

Three students also spoke about what Veterans Day meant to them. The first speaker, an exchange student from Ghana, quoted President Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

The second student speaker quoted from Abraham Lincoln‘s Gettysburg Address, “ …we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract…It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The third speaker quoted Pericles‘ Funeral Oration, “For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men. Make them your examples, and, esteeming courage to be freedom and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war.”

Three students sang “God Bless America” in harmony, and another student presented a special video of local (including several members of Post 27) veterans’ visits to Kenny Lake School over the last few years. After the ceremony, all the students got a chance to meet and shake hands with the veterans in attendance.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More November Holidays

Everybody knows that Thanksgiving comes in November, but do they know any other November holidays? Ask around and see if anybody can name an Alaskan holiday in November. (Hint: There are two.)

In Alaska, November 30th is Anthony J. Dimond Day. Anthony J. Dimond was Mayor of Valdez, Territorial Senator, Delegate to Congress before Statehood, and lastly District Judge in Anchorage. Dimond was instrumental in bringing military bases to Alaska. “Telling his colleagues in the House of Representatives that Japanese fishermen off Alaska's coast were actually disguised military personnel scouting out information on Alaska's harbors, Dimond pleaded that Alaska was as much a key to the Pacific as Hawaii and must be defended. In 1940, Congress appropriated money for military installations, but it took the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the 1942 occupation by Japan of Attu and Kiska islands on the Aleutian Chain for military mobilization to begin in earnest.”

The other is Women Veterans Day on November 9th.

Here are some November holidays:

November 1st - All Saints Day
November 2nd - All Souls Day
November 9th - Women Veterans Day (Alaska)
November 10th - Marine Corps Day
November 11th - Veterans Day
November 19th - Gettysburg Address Day
November 24th - Thanksgiving
November 30th - Anthony J. Dimond Day, Computer Security Day

Avalanche Awareness is a rather important topic here in Alaska, which is why Governor Murkowski proclaimed November Avalanche Awareness Education Month. Know before you go! Before you go snowmachining in Thompson Pass or up on the Denali or at Summit Lake, check out an Avalanche Awareness website or two.

Last but never least, November is Native American Heritage Month.

Auxiliary Poppy Program

Here is a link to the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program.

The History of Veteran's Day

Originally Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day, in commemoration of the day in 1918 that World War I ended in an Armistice ( a “cessation of hostilities as a prelude to peace negotiations”). The Armistice was signed in France at 5 a.m. and called for fighting to cease six hours later, at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns on the Western Front fell silent.

There is an old custom, dating back to 1919, of wearing red paper poppies on Armistice Day. The reason behind this custom is given in a poem written by John McCrea, a Canadian medical officer who served, and died, in WWI.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Poppy seeds will lie in the earth for years waiting for the right conditions to grow. Apparently battlefields provide the right conditions. The spring after the battles in Flanders, beautiful red poppies bloomed in the cemeteries that had been established on the battle sites.

Here is a poem called America’s Answer, written by R. W. Lilliard, that still rings true today.

Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead.
The fight that ye so bravely led
We’ve taken up. And we will keep
True faith with you who lie asleep
With each a cross to mark his bed,
In Flanders fields.

Fear not that ye have died for naught,
The torch ye threw to us we caught.
Ten million hands will hold it high,
And Freedom’s light shall never die!
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders fields.

In 1926 Congress passed a resolution changing November 11 from merely the anniversary of the end of World War I to a holiday honoring all veterans. In 1954 the name Armistice Day was changed by Act of Congress to Veterans Day, to honor American veterans of all wars.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

4th of July Parade

The Legion drove the VA Van in the 2005 Glennallen 4th of July Parade along with a WWII vehicle known as the "Old Fogeys' War Wagon".

VA Van

The Alaska Department of Veterans Affairs provides a van to transport veterans to and from the VA Clinic and other medical facilities in the Anchorage area. This free service is made possible through the cooperation of the VA and American Legion and Auxiliary volunteer drivers. Area veterans who are eligible for health care or are seeking benefits information at the VA are encouraged to use this free transportation service.

From Glennallen to Anchorage is 188 miles. In the winter the road is icy. In the summer, there is usually at least 10 miles of road construction. At all seasons the worst road hazards are moose and caribou – they tend to get out in the middle of the road, stop, and look at you as though to say, “What are you doing on our road?” A trip into Anchorage from Glennallen can take as long as 5 hours. Once there, we wait at the VA for all our passengers to complete their appointments and pick up their prescriptions. Then we drive home. It’s an all-day event. We make this trip usually once a week, sometimes twice a week. All of our drivers are volunteers and we are fortunate and grateful to have as many as we do.

This spring the VA replaced our aging full size Dodge van with a brand new Chevy all-wheel-drive minivan that is much better suited to the driving conditions we encounter between the Glennallen and Anchorage, particularly in the winter.

On October 25th, the Chief of VA Voluntary Service and the Chief of VA Material Management drove out from Anchorage to conduct VA Van Drivers Training. In the process, they got a good look at the driving conditions we routinely cope with. Ten Legion and Auxiliary members, current and prospective van drivers, attended this very thorough training, which was held at the Caribou Restaurant, here in Glennallen.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Alaskans make the Big Time!

Sue Caswell is featured on the Auxiliary National Website as the VA Volunteer of the Week for the Department of Alaska!
AND our own Mabel Ulrich is hailed on the National Website as one of the Auxiliary's "Angels in Action"!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

American Legion Post 27 Glennallen Alaska

“O Lord, let Thyself be found with a good gift to everyone who needs it, that the happy may find courage to accept Thy good gifts, that the sorrowful may find courage to accept Thy perfect gifts. For to men there is a difference of joy and of sorrow, but for Thee, O Lord, there is no difference in these things; everything that comes from Thee is a good and perfect gift.”
Soren Kierkegaard