Memorial Day message from National Commander Jim Koutz

Dear Legion Family Members and Friends,
All of us cherish the memories of our fallen comrades, friends or loved ones.
Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the friends I’ve lost. I think about the young 20-somethings I knew from Vietnam who made the supreme sacrifice serving our nation. I think about the heroes from other eras – the Great Wars, Korea, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan – who gave their lives so all of us could enjoy our freedoms.
This weekend, of course, another Memorial Day is upon us. I hope that you will join me in remembering to honor not only veterans who were close to you but also all of our veterans who gave their all. While the mass media often makes this weekend out to be about barbecues and department store sales, it is up to each one of us to remind our communities about the true meaning of this day.
I also encourage you to take a moment and visit The American Legion’s new web page dedicated to honor and remembrance, Scores of wonderful tributes to the men and women who served our nation with honor, courage and dignity can be found there.
Some of these tributes were contributed by the veterans themselves, or their family members. It’s easy – and free – to add your story, or your family’s legacy, to this growing collection of American military history. Just to submit a story, or read more about how to participate here or here.
Thank you for what you do every day – for veterans, their families and the communities in which they live. May our fallen never be forgotten.

For God and Country,
James E. Koutz
National Commander

The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16,, or visit our website at


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