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  • Nantucket's American Legion Post Celebrates Centennial with Three Events

    Nantucket’s American Legion Post Celebrates Centennial with Three Events


    Former US VA Secretary Jim Nicholson Scheduled to Deliver Keynote Address at Gala Dinner


    For more information, contact Carolyn Walsh, 508.680.4672, cwalshack@gmail.com

    NANTUCKET (August 30, 2019) -- The Byron L. Sylvaro American Legion Post 82 invites all citizens of Nantucket to a September-long celebration of the 100 th anniversary of the American Legion, America’s premier veterans service organization dedicated to “mutual helpfulness,” and the Nantucket American Legion post. Three events are scheduled, including a Centennial Gala Dinner September 21 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall to commemorate the national and local organizations’ founding in 1919 and honor Nantucket citizens for their volunteer work in the community.

    “The dinner gala gives Nantucket residents an opportunity to honor and thank the many notable volunteers who give us such pride in our island community,” said Post 82 Commander Richard P. Leone. “And it is our Post’s opportunity to celebrate and share highlights of the Legion’s 100-year history with local patriots and prepare together for the next 100 years.”

    Keynote speaker for the Centennial Gala Dinner is R. James “Jim” Nicholson, who, with his wife Suzanne, is a part-time Nantucket resident.

    Mr. Nicholson is a graduate of West Point, a former Army Ranger and paratrooper who led troops in the highlands of Vietnam before serving in the U.S. Army Reserve and retiring with the rank of colonel. Mr. Nicholson, himself a member for the American Legion for decades, served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the George W. Bush administration from 2005 to 2007.

    Prior to his tenure at the VA, Mr. Nicholson was the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, presenting his
    diplomatic credentials to Pope John Paul II only two days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
    During his tenure in this role, he became a well-know advocate for human dignity, with an emphasis on human trafficking, religious freedom, starvation, HIV/AIDS and international terrorism. Mr. Nicholson was knighted by the Pope in October 2003 for his representation of U.S. interests to the Vatican. He is presently a senior counsel with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a Washington, D.C. law firm.

    Other events scheduled by Post 82 in September include a Centennial flag raising at 9 a.m. Saturday, September 7 at Wilkes Square, adjacent to the Legion Hall at 21 Washington Street, complete with US Coast Guard Honor Guard and a “To The Colors” bugle call.

    In addition, Nantucket’s Select Board will issue a proclamation naming September 21 as “Byron L. Sylvaro
    Post 82 Centennial Day” at its weekly meeting September 18.

    All events are open to the public. The VFW Hall is hosting the Centennial Dinner Gala and is located at 22 New South Road. Tickets $100. Veterans $50. All tickets at the door $125.  
    For more information call 508-680-4672
    Tickets online at https://alnantucket.tix.com or may be purchases at Legion Hall, open daily 4-7pm

    About the American Legion
    The American Legion is America’s largest veterans service organization. It was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Membership swiftly grew to over 1 million, and local posts sprang up across the country. Today, membership stands at nearly 2 million in more than 13,000 posts worldwide. The posts are organized into 55 departments: one each for the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.

    Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth.

    For more information, go to www.legion.org

    BACKGROUND
    The American Legion and Nantucket’s Byron L. Sylvaro Post 82

    The American Legion was founded in 1919 by a group of veterans waiting in France for their ship home to the United States at the end of World War I.

    The national organization received its federal charter from the U.S. Congress on September 16, 1919, and
    Nantucket’s American Legion Post 82 – named for Nantucket resident Byron L. Sylvaro who died in World
    War I – received its charter on July 1, 1919. The Nantucket post has called the Legion Hall at 21 Washington Street home since 1929.

    The American Legion was founded on four pillars:  caring for veterans, fostering strong national security,
    mentoring the youth of the nation, and promoting patriotism and honor. Nationally, the American Legion played a leading role in the creation of the U.S. Flag code and the G.I. Bill.  

    On Nantucket, Post 82 sponsors local youth to attend the annual State Leadership Camp, Little League, and
    other youth sports programs.  It collaborates with non-profit groups to hosts community events and celebrations throughout the year, including the monthly Community Dinner, fundraising dinners for Scout Troops, and The Homestead’s “Paint the Town Red” dinner.  The Legion also provides scholarships to local high school students, welcomes home local service members arriving by ferry or plane, provides some 600 meals on Thanksgiving Day, and is a key participant in the annual Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, and Flag Day programs.  

    Byron L. Sylvaro American Legion Post 82
    21 Washington St,
    Nantucket, MA 02554