Legion Post 3, city celebrate anniversary

NASHUA – While celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Legion on Saturday at James E. Coffey Post 3 – located at 11 Court St. – members were joined by their families as well city and state officials, who proclaimed September 16, 2019 American Legion Day in the city of Nashua.

During the fete, veterans and those on hand were joined by both Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and U.S. Maggie Hassan, where they shared stories and food after Donchess made the Proclamation of Celebration to the Coffey Post.

Chartered by the U.S. Congress on Sept. 16, 1919, the American Legion remains an influential part of national, state and local governments while it continuously serves veterans and promotes patriotism and national defense.

As one of the the more than 5,400 posts operating throughout the country and 13,000 worldwide, the Nashua branch continues to serve veterans throughout the community.

Post 3, which is – as it is numerically listed – was the third American Legion post chartered in New Hampshire, when it was established in 1922. It was named after James E. Coffey, who was the first Nashua resident to enlist as well as to be killed in combat during World War I.

Sunday, during an interview with The Telegraph, Donchess talked admirably about the American Legion, as well as Post 3’s commitment to Nashua.

“In Nashua, we’ve had the Coffey Post since the 192’s, and the American legion itself is 100 years old,” Donchess said. “They represent, of course, the service men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country and have given so much over the years to preserve American freedom and preserve our safety.”

“So, the American Legion is a very important organization, and one I was glad to honor on this anniversary,” he added.

Donchess said he believes that with the longstanding establishment of the American Legion, the Coffey Post will continue to be an integral part of the community, serving veterans while standing for the values American’s hold dear.

“They have supported many community activities over the years,” Donchess said. “(From) youth sports teams and many other things, and they’re reviving their building, so I am optimistic that they will play an important role in the community in the future.”

Officials at the Legion said they were extremely happy that Donchess and the city honored the post and the organization, because it helps to let the public know that they are still a part of the community.

“It shows that we are still in existence and we expect to be in the future,” said Post Vice Commander Donald Dillaby. “It helps expose us at Post 3 back to the community.”

Dillaby said the American Legion is based off four pillars: veterans affairs and rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism and the support America’s youth. 

Working with organization such as Veterans Affairs Health Programs, baseball and other sports programs, Boy Scouts and youth cadet law enforcement programs as well as supporting families and veterans in need, Dillaby said, Legions around the country, including Post 3, continue to hold American ideals and standards.

Dillaby said the Post absolutely plans to remain a prominent part of the Nashua community as they revitalize the building, which he said was closed for a a short period of time as they continued with renovations.

While the building continues to have work done on it, the Coffey Post still will be able to hold their meetings at the building. Dillaby said the next scheduled meeting is Oct. 1.

Mathew Plamondon can be reached at 594-1244 or mplamondon@nashuatelegraph.com, @telegraph_MatP.