“To promote Americanism”. The last of the four pillars of The American Legion. Kim Willard, a Viet Nam era veteran and long time member of Pennypack Post 800 in Huntingdon Valley, Department of Pennsylvania had an idea. Very much disheartened by the unpatriotic acts reported in the media, he decided to hand out American flags on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. He ordered 500, 8x12 inch stick flags from The American Legion. On July 4th, Independence Day, he went to the beach with his wife and other family members and started to hand out flags. People were excited to receive them. Some people were suspicious of his motive, but when he explained there was nothing “political” they gratefully accepted the flag. He was really taken aback by the number of young people, high school and college age, who very much appreciated the flag. Some even asked if they could have more than one. By day’s end, he had given them all away.
Thinking about the day as he made his way back to his home he had a renewed feeling of patriotism in America. It made him realize that what we see in the media is not necessarily the whole story. The next day, Kim saw his flags on bikes and baby coaches, cars and front lawns. People even took them back to the beach. It made him feel good knowing that he had contributed to promoting Americanism.
Commander Post 800