|Flags fly at American Legion Post 347 as Cmdr. Tom Murphy gets set to open the post. [Bill Mitchell, Daily Sun] |
A post with purpose
LADY LAKE — Following months of organization, dedication and patience, members of American Legion Post 347 hosted a ribbon-cutting and rededication for their newly renovated headquarters.
“It’s been a long project to get this far and this is the culmination of it,” Post 347 Commander Tom Murphy said.
Monday afternoon, Post 347 families, friends and guests were invited to tour the new facility.
Following was a ceremony, led by past commander Bill Walsh, who recognized the entire Post 347 family — including volunteers.
Completion of the much-anticipated construction added 6,500 square feet to the existing 7,000-square-foot building on Rolling Acres Road.
“May we again dedicate our organization, remembering that the American Legion service is for God and our (country),” Murphy said during the ceremony. “As in time of war, we fight for our country, so that in time of peace we may serve the country — fearlessly and well. I dedicate this structure to the purposes of our post, and with it I dedicate this post to the faithful servants of our nation, its people and to the memory of their heroic deaths.”
Florida State Commander Phil Hearlson of Summerfield assisted Murphy with the ceremonial ribbon-cutting before the doors were officially opened.
“It’s gratifying to see (past) commanders here, on this occasion,” Hearlson said. “They were instrumental at this post. I remember a couple of years ago when they had 1,700 members; today, it is about 2,900. They are active in the community, they all work together as a family, but seeing this — what people have shown through dedication — is important. This is how the American Legion works, and I salute you for this.”
One of those past commanders present was Joseph Berube, who was the driving force behind the headquarters’ first renovation nearly 20 years ago.
“I remember trying to get land so that it could get built,” the Village of Country Club Hills resident said. “I buckled down, stood my guns and said we were going to add on to the hall.”