American Legion
J Edward Mallorey Post # 449
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Meaning of Preamble
The Poppy Story
Meaning of Preamble
Explanation of the Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary
“For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:
To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America…”
The first of the 10 principles of The American Legion and Auxiliary is a sacred pledge of allegiance
 to the Constitution of the United States. It is most appropriate that
the first ideas presented in the
Preamble be dedicated to the continued defense of our
nation by those very persons who have
either served in wartime or had a close relative
who served. The pledge to uphold and defend America
is the first obligation of every
Legionnaire and Auxiliary member.
“To maintain law and order…”
Law and order must be maintained if freedom is to be maintained. Liberty is not license. Good
government means that all citizens are secure in their lives and property.
To this, the Legion and
Auxiliary are pledged by the second principle stated in the
“To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism…”
The term “Americanism” covers all of the things that have made the American nation great and
the American people free. It implies qualities of character as well as
principles of government.
Under this Constitution’s principles, the Legion and Auxiliary
have worked, and are continuing to
work, to defeat the attempts of subversive
organizations to undermine our system. We attempt
to build loyalty to and confidence in
American ideals, and to develop an American citizenship
capable of making America’s
free form of government a constantly greater success.
“To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations during the Great
Every member of the Auxiliary has close personal associations with the sacrifice of war, be it
World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada/Lebanon, Panama and
Persian Gulf War. The
associations and incidents of these struggles are to be
remembered not only for their heroes,
their victories for freedom, but also to remind us of the awful implications and inevitable tragedies
accompanying war.
“To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation…”
The individual is the basis of the American nation. Unlike other ideas of government, the American
ideal places the individual first. The nation belongs to the
individual, not the individual to the nation.
The government exists for the purpose of
serving the individual, not the individual for the purpose
of serving the nation. If this
ideal is to survive, there must be a voluntary sense of obligation of the
individual to the
nation and its component parts, the community and state. The American citizen
his community, state and nation, not as a driven slave, but as a free man guided by his
own sense of duty. To inculcate this feeling among all Americans is one of the great purposes of
the Legion and Auxiliary.
“To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses…”
If America is to remain “the land of the free,” the government must always be a government of all the
people and for all the people. No classes are recognized in
America. No masses of downtrodden
people exist. Neither must be permitted to
develop, but America must be kept the country of opportunity
for all, where every
citizen’s first allegiance is to the nation, not to some social or economic class or
Dominance must not be gained by any such grouping of Americans. This is another basic pledge
of the Legion and Auxiliary.
“To make right the master of might…
The American form of government guarantees equal rights to all citizens. The American Legion Auxiliary,
born from a struggle against ruthless might, pledges their
strength to a continued struggle to prevent
invasion of the rights of any citizen by any
force, no matter of what character.
“To promote peace and goodwill on earth…”
The men and women of the Legion and the women of the Auxiliary know well the ghastly futility of war.
We know that war brings only misery to any nation, which
engages in it, to the victor as well as the
vanquished. With the lessons of war constantly
in mind, we pledge ourselves to promote peace and
goodwill among nations. We have
worked steadily in the cause in the face of forces, which have sought
to sow enmity and
war throughout the world.

 “To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and
These were the principles that inspired America’s great war efforts over the decades, and the Legion
and Auxiliary stand determined that these principles should not be lost to America in time of peace.
Following this pledge, the Legion and Auxiliary
work to safeguard justice, freedom and democracy
against the dangers of indifferent
citizenship and undermining by their enemies. It strives to give
understanding of and
devotion to these principles to the younger generations of Americans so that
they will
endure for the future of the country.
“To participate in and contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of
The American Legion
 Thus, the Auxiliary pledges its full strength to the support of The American Legion, and affirm its
character as an auxiliary to the Legion. It has always been faithful
to this pledge, never developing
programs or policies of its own, but directing all of its
activities towards the “accomplishment of the
aims and purposes of The American
“To consecrate and sanctify our association by devotion to mutual helpfulness.”
In this final phrase of the Preamble is set forth the purpose which has guided the Legion and Auxiliary
in all of their vast rehabilitation and youth work; in everything they
have done to lighten the burden for
those suffering from the results of wars; and to bring
full justice to those paying the human price for
America’s victory. In this work of mercy
and relief, the Auxiliary has made great contributions toward
the achievement of the
Legion’s purpose.

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