The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in March 1919, shortly after the end of World War I as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
Rye Post #128 was chartered on July 16, 1919 and was the first veterans organization in the City of Rye. Among the original charter members were such pillars of the Rye Community as Stuyvesant Wainwright, Martin F. Kirby, and J. Mayhew Wainwright.
Our membership today is composed of a broad section of our community such as business executives, judges, philanthropists, mayors, contractors, bankers, construction workers, homemakers, city councilors, clergy, etc.… whose common denominator is that they served their country with pride and honor in wars from WWI to the present.
Since our Post’s inception, we have provided uninterrupted volunteer services to our community and its veterans. Among them are:
Rye Patriotic Holiday Celebrations
- Original sponsors of the annual City of Rye Memorial Day services – the largest patriotic event in the community.
- Our Auxiliary is the lead organizer of the annual City of Rye Memorial Day parade
- Sponsor the annual Veterans Day services on Veterans Day, November 11.
- Presented the case to the City Council and School Board which led to the adoption of the maximum property tax exemption for veterans of all wars since WWII. We continue to do this today as tax law changes.
Rye Community Commitment
- Originated the Rye Americanism Award, given annually to a Rye resident for outstanding services to the community.
- Present scholarships to high school students based on an essay contest.
- Provide funding support for seniors and youth activities at Rye Recreation.
- The Post presents awards to Girls and Boy Scouts, Police, Firemen and other Rye citizens for special achievements
- Every year our members decorate all veterans’ graves with American flags in Greenwood Union Cemetery.
- Other volunteer services include visits to hospitalized veterans at the FDR Veterans Hospital, Montrose, NY to entertain them and see that their needs are met. Our Auxiliary annually contributes Christmas and holiday gifts to hospitalized veterans.
- Members of our Post provide free assistance all Veterans, widows, widowers, and children on benefits matters.
- The Post keeps members informed of all veterans affairs through print and web-based publications and knowledgeable speakers.
- When our servicemen and women returned from WWII, our Post was one of the main advocates for the development of the Rye Veterans’ Housing Project, which was built and served as interim residence for many of our veterans.
- The Post had a very active part in planning and developing the City of Rye Veterans Memorials.
- We were the first American Legion Post in Westchester to recognize the contribution of Vietnam veterans and awarded them our 1969 Americanism Award. In 1980 our Americanism Award was given to the veterans of Rye’s Vietnam and Korean War veterans.
All eligible US ex-service members from all branches of the services, as a well as some former members of the US Merchant Marine are welcome to join our post.