Dear American Legion Family Members and Friends,
Traditionally this has been a week when Americans pause to give thanks, share blessings and celebrate Thanksgiving. Things will certainly be different this tumultuous year for many families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken more than 250,000 Americans from their loved ones, sickened countless others and limited our interactions with family and friends. This year has also seen its share of political vitriol, racial tensions, rampaging hurricanes and even murder hornets.
Still, I count my blessings.
I am thankful for the entire American Legion Family. I have been inspired daily by the selfless actions of Legionnaires, Sons of The American Legion members, American Legion Riders and Auxiliary members who have served their communities during these challenging times. American Legion Family members have rallied to provide food to those in need, organized special birthday recognition drive-bys for World War II veterans, launched blood donation drives in their communities and provided other services.
We have chronicled hundreds of stories on legion.org that demonstrate how American Legion posts have served communities, states and nation during the pandemic. Right now, we are assembling those inspiring stories into a book. Stay tuned for more details.
I also am thankful for our brave men and women who are protecting us at home and abroad. Many of our troops will not be able to see their families at Thanksgiving. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, especially at this holiday time.
Additionally, I am thankful for every veteran who has served our nation with honor. As deeply troubling as 2020 has been, our democracy is strong. Our nation has withstood challenges before and we will come out of this challenging year even stronger than when it began.
Most of all when I consider what I am grateful for this week, I will think of The American Legion. I am honored to be your national commander. I am inspired by all the community service you have performed in the past year. And I am truly grateful for your friendship, dedication, patriotism and membership in the nation’s largest, most influential and greatest veterans service organization.
Stay safe, my friends and comrades. And have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
For God and country,
James W. “Bill” Oxford