BELLEVILLE, NJ — American Legion Post 105, located on Washington Avenue in Belleville, celebrated its centennial on Nov. 10, 2019, which fell on Veteran’s Day weekend.
The theme for the 100-year celebration was “Legacy and Vision” — a celebration of past accomplishments and a renewal of the organization’s resolve to serve communities, states and the nation for a second century. Post 105 was chartered on Sep. 9, 1919, by 24 sons of Belleville who returned from World War I, making it one of the older posts still active within the American Legion.
The American Legion, an organization comprising the country’s veterans, was established in Paris by the officers and men of the American Expeditionary Forces on March 15, 1919, and was federally chartered on Sep. 16, 1919, by the United States Congress. The Legion celebrated 2019 as its centennial year.
In an event sponsored and coordinated by the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 105, over 80 veterans, family members, members of the American Legion Family and community supporters packed Legion Hall. Flanked by historical memorabilia from Post 105’s past, including the original charter signed in 1919, Post Commander Richard Hult served as master of ceremonies.
“To preserve the memories and incidents of our nation’s associations in the great wars, the American Legion has stood as the conscience of a grateful nation, through honor and remembrance of all who gave their lives or were taken prisoner of war so others might live in freedom,” read Hult. “As new posts begin their journeys into the American Legion’s second century, they inspire a renewed vision that is equally timeless and built to serve generations of Americans yet to come.”
Following a wreath-laying outside the post by Post 105 officers, Mayor Michael Melham shared a few words. The mayor, whose father had been a member of the Disabled American Veterans, spoke about the importance of organizations like the American Legion, and reiterated the township’s commitment to supporting her veterans. He then concluded with reading and presenting a proclamation from the town. A proclamation was also presented by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., as was a resolution from the State of New Jersey.
The event ended with the Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Corps playing a few patriotic songs, including “God Bless America.”
Attendees celebrated after the ceremony with food provided by Belleville eateries, as well as from other restaurants throughout the area. The following businesses sponsored the event:
The Nutley Diner, 372 Centre St., Nutley
Michael V’s Luncheonette and Caterers, 201 Washington Ave., Belleville
ShopRite of Belleville, 726 Washington Ave., Belleville
The Spanish Pavilion, 31 Harrison Ave., Harrison
Cucina 355, 355 Franklin Ave, Nutley
Zinicola Baking Co., 127 King St., Nutley
Alberto’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, 482 Washington Ave., Belleville
Nu-Way Concessionaires Inc., 339-345 Bergen Ave., Kearny
The Chandelier, 340 Franklin Ave., Belleville.