State Rep. David Maloney on Nov. 21 ushered through the passage of House Resolution 614, legislation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Boyertown American Legion Post 471, and recognizing and honoring the legacies of Pvt. Charles B. Yerger, Gen. Carl Spaatz and the American Legion as staunch advocates for veterans and their families.

Rep. Maloney, R-130th Dist., delivered the following remarks:

“One hundred years ago, on March 15, 1919, the American Legion was founded in France by war-weary members of the American Expeditionary Forces who had fought in World War I.

“There are nearly 2 million members of the American Legion, making it the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization. The American Legion has more than 12,000 posts in communities throughout the United States. Many of these posts were created many years after 1919.

“But being a very patriotic community, a community that sent sons and daughters to World War I and World War II, the Boyertown American Legion Post 471 in Boyertown held its inaugural meeting just seven months later, Nov. 20, 1919.

“The Post is named for Pvt. Charles B. Yerger, who enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in France during World War I,” Maloney said. “He was serving with the 28th Division, 109th Infantry Regiment, when he died on Sept. 14, 1918, of wounds sustained during battle. He is buried in Plot B, Row 13, Grave 16, in the Suresnes American Cemetery, Suresnes, France.

“Another war hero from Boyertown, whom we recently named a road for, is Gen. Carl Spaatz, the father of the modern air force who served as the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, is a source of immense pride of Post 471 members.

“As members of Post 471 and their American Legion counterparts continued to meet in Boyertown and across the nation, they thought about how to support their wounded comrades, honor the fallen, assist surviving spouses and orphans, protect the democracy they pledged their lives to defend, and chart a new course for future generations of Americans. God bless America.”

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