On the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, “the war to end all wars” ended. Thousands of American soldiers who rallied behind the American Flag and fought with French forces against the "Germans" were gassed or killed by machine gunfire in that conflict. Such was the case with Corp. Harry Hamilton Renick, the first Garden City military veteran to lose his life on Sept. 30, 1918.

The American Legion was founded four months later by members of the American Expeditionary Force. The meeting took place March 15 to 17 in Paris, Francis. The mission was to address the medical, employment and education needs of those who served in uniform. Veterans back home, fresh from the battle field, were eager to join this veteran's organization.

About 27 local veterans, in Garden City, asked for and received orders to organize an American Legion Post. The request was granted on June 16, 1919. Eventually, the post was named in honor of Killed-In-Action and Missing-In-Action veteran Harry H. Renick.

In celebration of The American Legion kicking off its 100th year of serving military veterans and its communities, Post No. 9 will hold a centennial celebration this Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 405 S. Main.

Citizens are invited to view the original Post charter, a collection of rare photographs, to include the dedication of the origination Post home at Pine and Eighth streets, and other war memorabilia.

The American Legion salutes all military veterans, past and present. We continue to be “Veterans still serving Americans.”

JIM ARWINE

Garden City

Arwine is an American Legion of Kansas Centennial Celebration Committee member and Harry H. Renick Post 9 Judge Advocate.