Jamesburg American Legion has history of town activism

By VASHTI HARRIS
Staff Writer

JAMESBURG — An established pillar of the community and active support system for local veterans, Jamesburg’s American Legion Star Post 127 has been an established charter for more than 80 years.

Currently, the Legion post has 55 active members whose mission is to provide support to all local veterans who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. The Legion post has a history that is deeply woven in the Borough of Jamesburg due to the fact that it was officially authorized as a charter in 1919, making it one of the oldest in the nation, according to Allan Brown, commander of American Legion Star Post 127.

Today, Post 127 is best known for producing the town’s annual Memorial Day Parade and Veterans Day Ceremony.

“The parade itself was introduced in Jamesburg in 1883 with the formation of the Sumner Post 74 – Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). This organization was comprised of Civil War veterans living in the area. Memorial Day was called Decoration Day in those early years because the parade consisted of marching to the cemetery and decorating the graves of veterans,” Brown said.

“As the years went by and the membership of the GAR veterans dwindled due to age and death, a Decoration Day Citizens Committee took over the running of the parade. The American Legion took over the running of the parade in the 1930s and has been holding the annual event every year since. Jamesburg’s Memorial Day Parade is the oldest in the state of New Jersey with the 2017 parade being the 135th running of the event,” Brown said.

The Legion holds monthly meetings at 10 a.m. the second Saturday of the month in the Jamesburg Senior Center, 139 Stevens Ave.

“During [our] meeting we discuss the needs of individual veterans and try to help those most needy. We also provide items for those infirmed in hospitals with hygienic supplies as needed. Any veteran can come to our meetings with issues or concerns about their personal situation. They do not have to be an active member of our post to be welcomed at our meetings,” Brown said.

The commander said local residents can show their support by providing contributions for the post’s ongoing programs.

“We provide flags for individuals as well as schools, we sell poppies in remembrance of our involvement in global conflicts and we help local people with home projects as the need arises,” he said. “Citizens can also support us by attending our two major events during the year — the Memorial Day Parade and Veterans Day Ceremony. Jamesburg has always been proud of its history and citizens. The veterans of Jamesburg have been an integral part of the fabric that binds the town together.”

For more information, visit jamesburgborough.org or contact Brown via email at commander127@comcast.net.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@gmnews.com.