Commander Dvorak: Here is what Americanism really means

Greetings, American Legion Family.

A big thank you to Department Auxiliary Secretary Marsha Bible for organizing our Sweetheart Rally on Feb. 6 at Paynesville Post 271. Great job, Marsha!

Mark Dvorak

Paynesville Post 271 did an excellent job hosting the rally. Thanks to Teresa Ash and Jennifer Havlick, the rally was live-streamed using Zoom and Facebook so many who could not attend in person were able to be a part of our Sweetheart Rally.

The Department Appreciation Rally will be on Saturday, March 6, in La Crescent. Please contact Department Membership Director Sy Fix for more information. (Page 3)

The following subject “Americanism,” what does Americanism mean? It has been part of many conversations that I have been a part of the last several months.

Here is a brief history and description of Americanism according to our American Legion. The National Americanism Commission of The American Legion was created by a resolution adopted by the National Convention held in Minneapolis in 1919. The original objectives of the National Americanism Commission are as follows:

1. To promote understanding of the principles of democratic government, develop interest in governmental problems and bring more citizens to think seriously of the duties of citizenship.

2. To encourage education in every way possible by presenting scholarship medals in thousands of schools, cooperating in National Education Week and promoting night schools for adult education.

3. To inform American citizens about the history of the U.S. Flag, promote respect for it and ensure proper flag etiquette is observed.

4. To work tirelessly for the youth of America, sponsoring the National High School Oratorical Contest, American Legion Boys State, Boy Scout activities, American Legion Baseball, the Junior Shooting Sports Program and many other citizenship training programs.

5. To combat subversion and all un-American groups and activities that work toward the downfall of democracy in America.

6. To assist legal aliens in adapting to the American way of life through education programs, and to restrict immigration to ensure this assimilation may be made smoothly.

7. To provide worthy, practical service to our communities in order to make them better places to live.

The following is a brief definition often used by the National Americanism Commission to define Americanism: the Love of America; loyalty to her institutions as the best yet designed by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness; and the willingness to defend our Flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Obviously, Americanism can be defined in many ways by each of us. The American Legion chooses to describe it as allegiance to the United States of America and its customs and institutions.

Below is “The American’s Creed,” which is on the wall at The American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis. It was written by William Tyler Page and adopted by the House of Representatives, April 3, 1918. It is what I believe!

“I believe in the United States of America … established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives … It is my duty to my country to Love it, support its constitution, to obey its laws, to respect the flag,

And to defend it against all enemies.”

For God and Country, we continue our mission!

Mark Dvorak is the commander of The American Legion Department of Minnesota.