American Legion gives thanks to local businesses

Published 9:10 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

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Founded with the primary mission of aiding veterans post-discharge, the American Legion stands as a steadfast support system for U.S. military personnel and reserve components. Their multifaceted services and programs, ranging from troop support to advocacy for military retirees, underscores their commitment to the well-being of those who have served the nation.

This mission resonates deeply in communities across the nation, including Selma, where American Legion Post 324 recently demonstrated their commitment in a heartwarming Veteran’s Day initiative.

In collaboration with local businesses, legion members adorned Highland Avenue with a sea of American flags, creating a patriotic spectacle for the community. Several businesses not only displayed flags but also contributed monetary donations in support of the endeavor, showcasing a united front in honoring the nation’s veterans.

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Darius Bettis, a member of the legion, expressed gratitude for the community’s enthusiastic participation.

“We have been in the process of presenting certificates of appreciation to various merchants that were patriotic enough to display the star-spangled banner,” Bettis said. “There were quite a few merchants and we’ve been really pleased with the participation.”

One such business, Summerlin Hardware and Supply, located on Water Avenue, received acknowledgement for their unwavering support. Faye Raney, who received a certificate of appreciation on behalf of Summerlin, emphasized the importance of supporting the military.

“Anything we can do to support our military, we’re all in favor of,” Raney said. “They’ve given their all, so anyway we can support them, we do.”

John Goings, another legionnaire and Pastor at Water Avenue Baptist Church, personally thanked Summerlin, highlighting the broader community effort.

“We’re so grateful to all of these businesses for agreeing to display these flags,” Goings said. “We were focusing on Highland Ave. but here at Summerlin, they know us all, so they graciously gave a donation to support the effort.”

As the legion members returned to hand out these certificates of gratitude and collect their flags, the retrieved flags found a new purpose. The flags were proudly featured on the legion’s float in the annual Christmas parade held Dec. 9 as a visual representation of community support for veterans. 

As the legion continues its mission, the collaboration with local businesses serves as a heartwarming example of communities coming together to honor and support those who have served.