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American Legion, LYNCHBURG POST NO. 16 — 1924

Lynchburg, Virginia

American Legion, 1924

This Post was organized sometime in the fall of 1919, prior to November 11th, under the guiding hand of A. D. Barksdale, the first commander.

From the beginning special emphasis has been placed on proper honor being given to deceased soldiers. Every soldier’s body returned from overseas and all who died here have received full military honors. On each Memorial Day suitable exercises have been held and graves have been decorated with wreaths of flowers.

Each Armistice Day has been duly noted with appropriate exercises, usually preceded by a parade. These exercises are held in the City Auditorium or at one of the larger churches.

On Memorial Day poppies are sold on the streets, the proceeds of the sale being used largely in the care of ex-soldiers or their families who are sick or in straitened circumstances.

A Woman’s Auxiliary was organized in 1923 with Mrs. Robert E. Craighill as the first president. The Auxiliary aids in the sale of poppies and shares in the proceeds.

The attention of the Post was called to the fact that a number of the graves of exsoldiers were badly neglected-several having been buried in out-of-the-way places. The Post determined to secure a suitable lot, move these bodies where they would receive proper care. Commander John W. James (Commander in 1923) and his wife presented the Post with a beautiful lot for this purpose at a cost of $1,200.00.

As soon as the applications for Adjusted Compensation were available, the Post employed a secretary and opened an office for the purpose of distributing the applications and to aid ex-soldiers in properly filling them out. Some 1,400 ex-soldiers were given this service.

Soon after organization the Post sponsored a movement to rename one of the principal streets of the city to “Memorial Avenue.” The city council readily agreed to this. Later trees were planted along the parkway of the avenue, each tree receiving a name of one of the men who died during the war.

The Post has endeavored to educate the children of the schools in proper courtesy for the flag, and have a flag raised and lowered each day at the High School.

Boy Scouts, together with civic affairs of different varieties, haven received the personal attention and support of the Post.

A movement has been on foot for about a year to secure a suitable Post home, and it is sincerely hoped that this cherished goal may be consummated in the near future.