Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter of Greeting to the Convention of the American Legion.

September 07, 1938

My dear Commander Doherty:

I extend to you and to our great organization my sincerest greetings on the occasion of the Twentieth Annual National Convention. I wish that it were possible for me to accept the cordial invitation, which you extended earlier this year, to attend the Convention and I regret exceedingly that I shall be unable to be present in person. I recall with pleasure the warmth of the welcome you accorded me when I attended the Convention in Chicago five years ago.

About this time twenty years ago, many of you had just participated in a great victory in France. You were preparing to engage in the great offensive which brought the war to a close. Your services in France and at home earned your membership in the American Legion.

You have devoted yourselves to the preservation of peace since then. You have emphasized the importance of good citizenship, love of country and national defense. Surely such service to one's country brings rewards as glorious as those in war. Your voluntary effort to place a limitation upon war profits which members or others might gain in time of future wars, which we pray shall never come, is an evidence of highest patriotism.

Each of you today is in a position to promote responsible American citizenship. In many communities there is a need of such education in citizenship. How better can you now serve than as missionaries in American democracy?

Your war services to your country have earned you the admiration and commendation of the nation. In turn the nation has not been unmindful or lacking in gratitude. It has made generous provision for veterans and their dependents who suffered during the war.

Happily, we are now at peace but there is work to be done. The American Legion will assist, as it always has done, in maintaining and defending those true American principles of freedom, tolerance, justice and humanity, which are part of our priceless heritage.

I congratulate you upon the great progress the organization has made and send my best wishes to all of you.

Very sincerely yours,

National Commander Daniel J. Doherty,

American Legion National Headquarters,

Indianapolis, Indiana.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter of Greeting to the Convention of the American Legion. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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