For 100 years, the American Legion has been dedicated to serving veterans, promoting patriotism and advocating for a strong national defense.

The organization was federally chartered on this day in 1919 and traces its roots to the end of World War I.

The current Napoleon post of the American Legion opened in August of 1961 and it is named for Bert G. Taylor, a Napoleon soldier killed in France during World War I.

Within the first year of the national organization being chartered, there were 5,400 local posts, and that number has grown to 13,000 around the world. The organization as a whole boasts 2.2 million wartime-veteran members.

The American Legion led the way in creating a U.S. Flag Code, helping start the Veterans Administration and getting passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly referred to as the GI Bill.

The Napoleon chapter currently has 460 members and 900 in the affiliated American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion.

Bert G. Taylor Post #300 annually sends students to Buckeye Boys State, sponsors the Americanism contest, aids in military funerals for veterans, provides scholarships and sponsors the Legion baseball team the Napoleon River Bandits. It also has sponsored free swimming days at the city pool during Fourth of July and hosts numerous cookouts.

Over the years, the organization has touched the lives of local attorney Richard Fisher, who is a Buckeye Boys State alum, and professional baseball player Chad Billingsley, who played on the Legion baseball team.

The current commander of the Napoleon American Legion is Andrew Young. The Napoleon American Legion is located on Glenwood Avenue.

Email comments to briank@northwestsignal.net

I started at the Northwest Signal in 1994 and became editor in 2004. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1994.

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