March 15, the designated birthday of The American Legion, is the day in 1919 when the first American Legion caucus, held by members of the American Expeditionary Force, convened in Paris. Much as the birthday of the United States is celebrated on July 4 – for the day in 1776 when revolting patriots declared the independence of the British colonies and the spirit of America was born – March 15 is the date on which the Legion came to life.
Each year, Legion posts across the country hold events – public, private or both – to commemorate this anniversary. A guidelined speech has been drafted by the Legion’s Media and Communications staff as a way for Legionnaires to emphasize what the Legion represents, both to themselves and to the community at large. They are not meant to be recited verbatim; members are encouraged to amend them to taste and audience. The birthday speech can be downloaded free of charge directly via PDF or Word, or by visiting www.legion.org/publications and scrolling down to the Media and Communications section.
The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) will operate under its regular station call sign K9TAL – Kilo Niner The American Legion – as a special event station to commemorate the Legion’s 97th birthday. In addition to operating SSB on 14.275 MHz +/- 5 KHz, Central Indiana stations may contact K9TAL on 146.46 MHz Simplex, or worldwide via IRLP Node 9735, on Saturday, March 12, between 9 a.m. EST (1400 UTC) and 4 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC). A full-color K9TAL certificate confirming contacts will be sent on receipt of a 9x12 inch self-addressed stamped envelope to TALARC, The American Legion National Headquarters, 700 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
And as always, posts are encouraged to upload recaps and photos of their birthday celebrations (and other community activities) to the Legiontown U.S.A. site. Legiontown is a place for Legionnaires to tell the stories of all the good they do every day, and to see how other Legionnaires across the country are doing the same.