The newly elected officers are: Adrian Calvache (Post Multi-Media), Lucy Del Gaudio (Second Vice Commander), Richard Gomez (Adjutant), Troy Mack (First Vice Commander), Mark Otto (Veteran Outreach), Chris Page (Commander), Keyser Söze (Post Finance Officer). They look forward to the challenge ahead of them in continuing the long history of serving veterans and the community of Weehawken.
The American Legion Post 18 was formed in 1919 by several World War I veterans.
One member of note, William Donnelly, learned about the American Legion while on occupation duty in Brest, France. Following his discharge from the service, he became one of the charter members. At the time, Donnelly related that he first found out about the American Legion through Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of the former President.
Like many service members who were waiting to be shipped back home after the end of “The War to End all Wars”, there was a movement to keep the camaraderie alive for those who fought in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).
Early meetings were held in the Old Baldwin Hose Company headquarters, in the downtown section of Weehawken. The first meeting was on Jan. 27, 1919.
A rehab months in the making
Since July of last year, the officers, members and supporters of American Legion Post 18 have been working tirelessly to repair and renovate this great post. During cleaning up at the building, new commander, Chris Page, found some scrapbooks, photos and artifacts which he kindly offered to the Weehawken Historical Commission (WHC) for its collection.
“It’s important to preserve the memories of the past,” he said. “One of the most vital aspects of the Historical Commission is to give the younger generations a sense of the historical Weehawken.”
The Commission’s website, The Weehawken Time Machine, is dedicated to preserving and sharing this rich history. Its offices and display space are in a rehabbed 1890 brick building, which was once the Weehawken Town Hall and Police Headquarters. It is located at 309 Park Avenue.
The WHC is always happy to receive donations of Weehawken-based memorabilia. Photographs, old newspaper clippings, post cards, printed records and other objects are kept at its offices. Paper items are scanned or digitally photographed so they can be preserved and viewed online on its website. Items can also be lent for documenting and returned.
To learn more about Weehawken’s history, visit the WHC’s Facebook Page: The Weehawken Time Machine, and website: www.weehawkenhistory.org.
And to learn more about the American Legion, Post 18 has launched a new Facebook page: Weehawkenpost18.