New and exciting things are being planned this year at Houston’s American Legion Post 41.

The post’s annual elections took place last month and new officers were voted in who began their terms this month. 

Newly elected officers include Robert Demitri as post commander, Glenn McKinney as adjutant and myself, Keith Ford, as financial officer. Continuing as officers are first vice commander Sam Neumann, historian Jerry Wildhaber and chaplain Bob Simpson. Vacant seats include sergeant at arms and second vice commander. 

A big thing on the Legion’s spring calendar is an armed forces celebration set for Armed Forces Day – Saturday, May 20 – at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds. The Legion and quite a few groups and organizations are working together on this community event, and a planning committee is working out the details for a day full of events.

The primary event that the Legion itself will be sponsoring at the event will be a pair of flag retirement ceremonies – one in the morning and the second in the afternoon. 

There will be hot dogs and hamburgers cooked by Legion members, along with non-alcoholic refreshments.

Armed Forces Day recognizes all service members through out the history of the U.S., from the American Revolution to the present day. So far, more than 20 groups have expressed interest in participation. I hope that more will join in the planning. I should be able to go into greater detail in next month’s column.

Memorial Day is May 29, and we see folks handing out red poppies during the month. The red poppy is called a remembrance poppy and is linked to great (and horrid battles) of World War I, notably Flanders Fields. A wealth of poems have been written about the poppies growing across the cemeteries of Belgium.

World War I was called the Great War, and the War to End All Wars. Unfortunately that was not the case, as we all know. 

Here is a brief poetic excerpt:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

I believe there is a World War I memorial outside the county administration building (on Grand Avenue in downtown Houston) that commemorates county soldiers.

We would like to see as lots of people attend our event May 20. It is scheduled to go from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Houston resident Keith Ford is a retired infantryman and an amateur writer whose work has appeared in publications around the world. Email

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