Naperville American Legion Post 43 “91st”
On August 1st, 2011 Post 43 will begin its “91st” year of service to Fellow Veterans, Naperville Youth, and the Naperville Community. On March 17th, 1919 the Paris Caucus was called to order with the sole purpose to organize a new Veterans Group to insure that all wounded Veterans would receive medical benefits and help for serving their country in time of War. Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. was an active participant in this meeting. During the Caucus many “names” for the Group were bantered about and finally Major Maurice Gordon was credited for making a motion calling for the name “The American Legion”. Obviously the name stuck and today there are 2.4 million members serving this great organization.
Now for a little local history: In Naperville, over 300 young men, roughly 10% of the population at that time went into the service during WWI. Certainly when our men came home they wanted to start a Post in Naperville. Naperville Post 43 was chartered on August 1st, 1920 with 126 Naperville Veterans signing as Charter members. We are one of the oldest Posts in the State of Illinois and for that matter in the Nation. Our first Commander was C.W.Reed. He served for one year and was followed by Win G. Knoch. These men represented two of our finest Commanders and led the way for another 71 that have followed.
Several years ago the Naperville Community rallied to repair our WWI Doughboy sculpture. Our “Doughboy” was dedicated in 1926 under the leadership of Post 43 Legionnaires. This sculpture, along with the many other patriotic memorials in Naperville continue to represent what the American Legion and all Veterans in Naperville that served, and continue to serve this great country, stand for.