Legion Post turns 78, post home turns 100
August 16th, 2010 by MOTHAX
Happy Birthday Post 118! I generally avoid parochial Legion events in favor of national stories, since the former are the sole province of LegionTown USA. But, I am nothing if not responsive to my readers, so I wanted to include the speech for the 100th Anniversary. Best of luck to Post 118 in reaching 200!
We are here today to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Post Home and our American Legion Zephyr Post 118’s 72nd birthday on May 11, 1938. Winston Churchill was known for his caustic wit. One evening he was at a function with Lady Astor. Winston said something that upset her. She turned to Winston and said” If you were my husband I would poison you” Winston said back “If I was your husband I would take it” With that Lady Astor got up and left the table. I always wanted to use that story in a speech, just never had the opportunity. So if that bombed blame the speech writer. Ops I wrote this speech. The City of Zephyrhills was founded by a veteran for veterans of the Civil War. Captain Jeffries a Civil War veteran wanted a place for veterans to live. Once the city was founded the veterans who were living here formed the veteran’s organization GAR (The Grand Army of the Republic). They needed a place to meet. So in May of 1910 this Post Home was built on this site. It has been 100 years this month since our post home was built. The GAR named this home the Garfield Post in honor of assassinated President Garfield. When a citizen from a community is called to serve their country, it is not only a hardship for that person, but also for the family and the community. When they return they need a place to call their own. So it is fitting and proper to thank the community for allowing this building to be in exisentice and to flourish. I am reminded of President Kennedy who made a speech in Berlin where he said “Ech bin ein Berliner”. And I am proud to say Ech bin from Zephyrhills. Because I am so proud to be part of a community that has fostered and allowed this building to grow. I would like to dispel a rumor going around that Post Commander Keith and Finance Officer Bill Hansberger were charter members of the GAR Garfield Post. I have it on good authority that this rumor is NOT TRUE. What does a Post Home mean to us veterans? In the early years the Garfield Post was used as a community center. The early graduates of Zephyrhills High School received their diplomas here and after that walked through these doors to face the world. The post has been used for birthdays and Wedding receptions’. The post also is a place of comfort for returning veterans. A place to go for socializing, a place where they can be with people who have through many of the same things. A post home offers a place where we can go. If perchance we are reliving memories or having flash backs if you will, the post home can be like your mother or significant other by giving you the feeling of warm arms around you, to comfort you as your shivering or shaking. A place to rest your weary bones. We are also celebrating our American Legion Zephyr Post 118’s chartering on May 11, 1938. Thank you OLD SWEET LADY for being here for the veterans of the past, the veterans of the present and the veterans of the future.
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