By David Tanguay
Americanism, one of the Legion’s four pillars, is the
love of America, loyalty to its ideals and institutions, allegiance to its
flag, willingness to defend it against all enemies - foreign and domestic - and
a desire to advance the blessings of liberty to future generations. The passage
of Resolution No. 163 at the 1960 National Convention in Miami, Fla.,
established February as Americanism Month. During this annual observance, we
should all reflect upon what it means to be an American and rededicate ourselves
and our posts to taking action that will uphold the principle of “100 percent
The American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham
supports the precepts of the Legion’s four
pillars. The Post has an
Americanism Officer, David Horne, who annually coordinates and supports a
variety of programs and projects that reflect the Americanism principals. The pillar
is divided into youth programs, flag programs, support for veterans, and
Under youth programs, the Post supports the annual Boys
State program which meets each June at Thomas College and tutors high school
juniors in the process of local and state government. The Post currently
has funds to support four boys this year with scholarships. The Unit Auxiliary
supports the same precepts for Girls State. More to follow on subsequent
articles for this year.
The Post annually selects a male and female student from
the senior class at Windham High School for their leadership. The recipients
receive a leadership “School” medallion, pin and certificate and is awarded a
modest scholarship for use in their education.
Legion baseball, youth air rifle program and boy scout
activities are also under the purview of the Americanism program and are
supported by the Post.
Each June 14th
, Flag Day, the Post liaisons
hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony with local Boy Scout Troop 805,
Windham. The “Field-Allen” Legion baseball team carries the Post name and
Lastly, the Post collaborates with the WHS Jr. Cadets
Corps under the leadership of Dan Wirtz to sponsor a youth air rifle training
program. It is anticipated that follow-up training will be offered to scout
groups and other individuals based on interest.
The Field-Allen Post also supports flag etiquette and
training programs for various organizations and schools. If there is
interest in these training opportunities, give the Post a call.
The American flag, the symbol of our great country, is
key to the precepts of the Americanism Program. The Post goes to great
lengths to recognize the American flag. In 2005 the Post undertook an
Americanism program to place 100 US flags on the utility poles on the highways
and byways of Windham.
In May of this year, the Post will be undertaking
that same goal for the 15th
consecutive year. Now, a little more
senior group of Post members will climb ladders and place Old Glory, one more
time, on these poles around town.
There are also flag placements in the cemeteries. Windham
has 31 recognized cemeteries in the borders of the town. Of those, 21 are known
to have interned in them the remains of our fallen veterans. Some are
large areas such as Arlington in North Windham. Others are of moderate size
such as Chase (Highland Cliff Rd) and Smith (lower River Road with many
colonial era and Revolutionary War vets). Most are small, many out of the way,
once family plots like the Elder cemetery on lower River Road, set back in the
woods with one GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) marked veteran grave from the
Each year, teams of local veterans honor their sacred
duties to remember their fallen by placing a flag on every know veteran’s
The same holds true in late fall, when, around Pearl
Harbor Day, the Post and the community come out to place a simple wreath with a
red-white-blue bow on each of the veteran’s graves, a tribute not unlike
Wreaths Across America. The Field-Allen Post raises the funds needed during the
summer months to purchase the wreaths and bow material. In late November, a Bow
Party is held to make the bows and affix them to the wreaths for distribution.
Other programs that directly or indirectly support
include blood drives and food drives. The American Legion, on a national
level, supports more Red Cross blood drives than any other organization in the
country. The Legion Post does it part by hosting four events a year
at the Windham Veterans Center.
The Post sponsors a very successful Vet Coffee Program
held each Wednesday at the Windham Veterans Center from 9 a.m. to 11 am. This
Vet Coffee is multi-facetted in that it provides an opportunity for local
veterans to “drop-in” for a social experience with their peers. It also has a
therapeutic element with many of our vets that gives them an opportunity to
share experiences in a safe environment.
Additionally, the Post collects food items annually for
the local food pantry over Memorial Day weekend and collects food items in
support of the Portland VETCENTER food pantry for homeless veterans on a weekly
basis at the WVA on Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The Legion Family Poppy Program, an annual collection of
donations is used specifically and exclusively for the support of veterans
and their families and active duty service personnel and their
families. When you see that red flower being offered, consider that it is
being offered in memory of a veteran and any donations will go 100% to the
support of the veterans.
Each Year on Memorial Day the Field-Allen Post 148
coordinates and orchestrates the town of Windham’s Memorial Day Parade and
Ceremony at the WHS. The Post has been doing this for over 25 tears. It
starts coordination in February to bring the tribute to our veterans together
Want to be part of the team? Contact the Field-Allen Post
Adjutant Dave Tanguay at 892-1306 or see any Post member.