Iowa American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion Headquarters
720 Lyon St
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: (515) 282-7987
FAX: (515) 282-7583
- President Mary Littrell
- President's Theme and Symbol
- President's Projects
- Installation Speech
Department President 2012-2013
Mary Littrell (Mrs. Liness)
3882 Locust Ridge Road
North Liberty, IA 52317
2012-2013 President Mary Littrell
THEME: “Saluting Our Flag / Saluting Our Veterans
SYMBOL: USA Flag
COLORS: Red, White and Blue
SONGS: “You’re a Grand Old Flag”
“God Bless America”
National President Peggy Thomas’s general theme is: “Honor Their Service . . . Past, Present and Future”
President Mary Littrell’s projects for 2012-2013 are the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, the Iowa City VA Health Center and Girls State. Donations may be sent to the Iowa Department American Legion Auxiliary, 720 Lyon Street, Des Moines, IA 50309. Please indicate on the memo line of your check “President’s Project.” Thank you.
A huge Thank You to Jean for being my installing officer and to Linda Sue for being my installing chaplain. Another thank you to Sergeant at Arms Gale, Assistant Jean and personal pages Jeanne, a longtime family friend and Sheryl.
Thank you, too, to Soloist Joyce, and for those of you who remember Past Department President JoAnn Miles, Joyce is her daughter. Dixie, we could not do without your talent of playing the piano and even the accordion. Thank you, all.
Members of this Convention and Guests,
In a famous photograph taken in 1945 by Joe Rosenthal, five United States Marines and one United States Navy man raise our American flag on Iwo Jima after our forces had been battling the Japanese for four days on their island. The battle itself lasted for over a month and three of the men in the photograph were killed there, as were so many other American troops, with nearly 7000 killed or missing and almost 20,000 wounded. The photograph not only won a Pulitzer Prize for Rosenthal, but also served as the model for the Marine Corps Memorial.
Today I am mentioning this photograph, memorial, and battle not because Iwo Jima should be remembered any more or less than other battles in its own or in other wars, but because most of us here can see that scene in our minds even without my showing a picture of it.
The scene is forever etched in our memories, and in our hearts.
But so are our veterans, all of our veterans. That is why we are here
today. That is why we are members of the American Legion Auxiliary. We are members because we remember the service of those who served our country.
We all have our own memories too of how we became a part of this great organization. I would not be standing here today if it were not for the service of my husband Liness and brother Ken who both served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. Thank you for your service.
Fifty-one years ago I was asked by a family friend to join the Swisher American Legion Auxiliary. I was excited because while I was growing up, our family always attended the Memorial Day services that the Legion and Auxiliary held at the various cemeteries around the town of Swisher. I was always in awe of the ladies dressed in white that formed the cross, a human cross, and I told myself then, I wanted to be part of that cross someday and, yes, after I joined I was able to be just that. What great memories! Thirty years later I transferred to the Iowa City unit where I continue to be a member.
The members there in Iowa City seemed happy to have me and my daughters as members. In fact, the ladies in Iowa City let me be a Unit President again, and again, and again!!! Many of you members here today from ANY unit probably had that same experience!
With the many programs of the Auxiliary, there is a place for everyone to find something that really has a special meaning to them. I find myself doing my best when I am volunteering either with the Homeless Shelter, where I can help members of my community, or at the VA Health Center in Iowa City, where I have direct contact with the Veteran.
At the VA, I have a couple of duties and one of them is being an ambassador. Now I understand how helpful ambassadors can be to Veterans and their families. When they arrive at this big medical center, which can be confusing and a little overwhelming, they are met with a smile and given directions if the veteran needs them. Sometimes I even accompany a veteran to his or her destination if the veteran has special needs or fears. They thank me, but I am there to thank them, and I do.
While I was talking with one of the veterans not too long ago, I did what I always do, I said, “Thank you for your service.” And I have to say here today that I mean those words every time I say them.
Sometimes a veteran will respond and other times he or she will not, but I say “Thank You” just the same. We appreciate their service. We MUST appreciate their service. Our veterans sacrifice so much, so that we in this country can do what we do each day.
But that one veteran, who later told me that no one had ever thanked him, cried. Tears were streaming down his face. It was a moment I will always remember. That veteran know now that I, that WE appreciate him and his service.
We are here today to start our American Legion Auxiliary year, to show our veterans that we appreciate them, to better our communities, to motivate and guide our youth. This year I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you to continue the many programs of the American Legion Family. And please remember: We still have many of our military engaged in combat and need to be there for them and their families. Reach out to help them in whatever way you can, and also in whatever way WE can together.
My them for the coming year is “Saluting our Flag, Saluting our Veterans.” My symbol is the USA Flag, and my colors are red, white and blue. My projects are the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, the Iowa City VA Health Center, and Girls State.
At this time Joyce will sing “ You're a Grand Old Flag,” which is my song.
I would like to recognize a large group of members who have made this journey possible for me. Would all the members that are here from my Unit in Iowa City, Johnson County and 1st. District please stand and be recognized. Thank You all!!
Joyce will now sing “Amazing Grace,” which is my hymn.
Would my personal pages Jeanne and Sheryl please bring my family forward for introductions? I would like to introduce our oldest son Randy and Darlene, Our oldest daughter Karen, husband Tim and sons Jake, Nick and Sean. Middle son Dan, youngest son Chuck and Trish and youngest daughter Kris, husband Jeff and their children Dillon and Sydney. Extended family John and Judy and Judy is like a sister to me. My brother in law Roman and Peg. Lastly the most important person in my life my husband Liness. Do any of you have anything they would like to say? Would my personal pages please escort them back to their seats.
As always Membership is a main priority for our organization. Without members we are not able to carry on the programs as we should. The 2012-2013 Membership team, which consists of Chairman Diana Shadduck and team members Annie Blanchard and Donna Fleulling, will now come forward to collect dues as Department Executive Secretary/Treasurer Marlene does the roll call. Today for those turning in membership, your Units name will be placed in a basket for a drawing immediately to win a flag which has been donated by the Iowa City American Legion Post #17, Thank you Iowa city, and thank you, members all of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Iowa.
In closing, I would like everyone to stand, join hands, and sing one of my songs, God Bless America” led by Joyce.
Madam retiring President Martha, I return the gavel to you so that you may close your Department Convention.
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