American Legion Auxiliary celebrates 100 years

Randall Waszynski
Posted 3/19/20

The Suffolk County American Legion Auxiliary acknowledged its century mark on Saturday at the Rusy-Bohm Post 411 American Legion Hall on Nassau Avenue, right behind Islip Town Hall.

“In …

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American Legion Auxiliary celebrates 100 years


The Suffolk County American Legion Auxiliary acknowledged its century mark on Saturday at the Rusy-Bohm Post 411 American Legion Hall on Nassau Avenue, right behind Islip Town Hall.

“In the beginning, God created man, and so I needed a partner. In 1919, the American Legion realized it needed a partner, and the American Legion Auxiliary was created,” said Suffolk Coun- ty American Legion commander James Beecher. “Thank God and thank you, the American Legion, for realizing the necessity for the Auxiliary. I wish you much success in the next 100 years. I know you will meet every challenge and move forward. May God blessthe American Legion Auxiliary.”

Islip Town supervisor Angie Carpenter spoke at the Auxiliary’s anniversary and expressed how amazing 100 years is for an organization like the American Legion Auxiliary.

“The work that you do in promoting Americanism is so very important to instill in our young people coming up, and our future—how important it is to remember this country and those who serve and those who keep us free,” Carpenter said, continuing on to recognize the young individuals tending to the event’s food who stopped their preparations, removed their gloves, and put their hands over their hearts to participate fully in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Carpenter said that the Town of Islip is home to the most veterans than any other township in the state.

“I cannot thank you enough for all that you do on behalf of all of our residents,” she said.

Evelyn Gerlett, the 100th Birthday Committee chair as well as the county auxiliary’s treasurer, led the meeting and recognized all the event’s distinguished guests. Gerlett ultimately started off the event with recognizing the Suffolk County Auxiliary Juniors, who brought items forth that comprised the Military Child’s Table Setting.

“As we honor our veterans, we must remember to honor those at home,” Gerlett said. “The sacrifice the children make when a family member is deployed. In 1986, secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger recognized the importance of military-connected children and their role in military families when he established the month of the military child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed-forces community. When an Air Force officer was asked what he needed when deployed, his request was, ‘Please don’t send cookies, care packages, or socks. Just help take care of our children.’”

The juniors brought forth several items, each of which provided unique symbolic value: the potted flowering plant, which symbolizes the growth of the military children; the hand spade, symbolizing children having to move to a new school and make new connections on a moment’s notice; the birthday hat and unlit candles that recognize the celebrations missed by those deployed; the baseball glove, ball, and hat collectively symbolize the games and cheers missed by those deployed; the ballet slippers that signify the important events in a child’s life missed by those deployed; and finally the family photo.

“[The depiction of] a child or children with their beautiful parents represents the nation of our country’s strength of families, united in their commitment to national service and willing to make any sacrifice, both at home and abroad to ensure that our flag continues to fly free. Remember the children,” Gerlett said.

Gerlett recognized other distinguished guests, including Suffolk County Auxiliary president Eileen Kramer. The department president of the American Legion Auxiliary also phoned in to congratulate the county’s auxiliary for their 100-year accomplishment.


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