Henry "Gene" Burton Sr Memorial, Post 13 Sitka, Alaska




The American Legion, commonly known as the Legion, is a patriotic organization of U.S. war veterans headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It comprises state, U.S. territory, and overseas departments, in turn, made up of local posts. It was established in March 1919 at Paris, France, by officers and men of the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.). In September 1919, it was chartered by the U.S. Congress.

The Legion played the leading role in drafting and passing the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the "G.I. Bill". In addition to organizing commemorative events, members assist at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics. It is active in issue-oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of interests of veterans and service members, including support for benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Health Administration. It has also historically promoted Americanism, individual obligation to the community, state, and nation; peace and goodwill.


The American Legion was established on March 15, 1919, in Paris, France, by delegates to a caucus meeting from units of the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.), which adopted a tentative constitution. The action of the Paris Caucus was confirmed and endorsed by a similar meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri, from May 8 to 10, 1919, when the Legion was formally recognized by the troops who served in the United States. The Paris Caucus appointed an Executive Committee of seventeen officers and men to represent the troops in France in the conduct of the Legion. The St. Louis caucus appointed a similar Committee of Seventeen. These two national executive committees amalgamated and were the initial governing body of the Legion. The temporary headquarters was located in New York.