Often when people think of veterans in Monrovia, they think of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2070 on Magnolia Avenue.
I was an officer a "The V" (as it is sometimes called) for many years, and had a lot of good times and good breakfasts there. It is the best known vets group in town because it has a "home" (it's building at Magnolia & Chestnut St.) with signage and a bar that attracts a number of regular customers, not all of whom are members.
But, this morning, as I stood at Library Park for the annual Veterans' Day festivities, I was reminded that it is another vets group in town which really has led the effort to preserve the legacy of those who have served.
American Legion Post 44 has its name on more memorials and plaques at Library Park than does any other organization. I am a member of Post 44 as well, and can attest to the tireless dedication that Post 44 Service Officer Chuck Keen has put into the community.
Through Chuck's efforts, the Legion was able to raise money for the military service plaques in front of the library, an appropriate tribute to those who protect the freedom of speech embodied in libraries.
It's worth noting that the largest memorial in the Park, the black granite Vietnam Memorial, was donated not by a veterans group but by the Rotary Club
But, the Legion also sponsored a plaque two years ago to recognize the sacrifices of Korean War veterans. And one of the oldest markers in town also lies in Library Park, a tribue to those who died in "The Great War," before a second global conflict made it "World War I."
Post 44 may not have the splash or the cash but, with quiet dedication, and Chuck Keen's energy, they go about doing exactly what Veterans groups are supposed to.