Harmony American Legion Auxiliary to celebrate 100 years of service on Sunday

The Harmony American Legion Auxiliary has set an open house at the Old Legion Hall in Harmony on Sunday, Nov. 10, to celebrate 100 years of service. 

There will be cake, bars, punch and coffee served from 2 to 4 p.m. with a display of scrapbooks on hand dating back to the early 1950s.

The American Legion was formed on March 15, 1919, in Paris, France.  At that time, Minnesotans had started their own veterans' organization called the Loyal Legion, but they quickly changed their name to the American Legion and organized delegates to attend a caucus in St. Louis in May 1919.

By November 1919, when the Harmony auxiliary unit was chartered, there were 35,000 Legion members and 360 posts in Minnesota.  Harmony was the 81st post and was named after Gustav Berg, the first soldier to die in service from Harmony.

Over the past 100 years, the auxiliary has supported the Legion in its projects, particularly the Memorial Day program, as well as initiating its own projects.  The local auxiliary has sent girls to Girls State nearly every year since its inception, sponsored blood drives for over 40 years, recognized teachers with apples during National Education Week, supported the local Girl Scouts and sponsored children for Christmas in Fillmore County.   Members have also held county offices in past years and the unit has hosted several Girls State teas, which included all the candidates from Fillmore County.  In 1987, a junior auxiliary was started, and although it is no longer as active as it was then, there are currently 20 junior members, and they participate in some of the senior activities.

The most important service the unit does, however, is distributing poppies Memorial Day weekend.  The monies brought in help support numerous veterans' programs on state and local levels, and auxiliary officials say they hope to continue their service to the community and veterans for many years to come.