The American Legion (which was organized in March of 1919) granted a charter to a group of forty veterans of the “Great War” on 8 August 1919 with Henry A. Brown elected as its first Commander. The Post was named in honor of Milton J. Brounshidle. He was the first of seven Kenmore residents who gave their lives for their country during that war. He was killed in action at St. Mihiel, France on 28 September 1918.
The other local men who gave their lives during that war included:
- Lieutenant Harry E. Crosby (for whom the local VFW Post is named) at Bony, France on 29 September 1918
- Lambert J. Keller in the Argonne on 2 October 1918
- Winfield B. Kimmons at Champagne, France on 6 October 1918
- Frederick B. Eberhardt Jr. at the Great Lakes Training Station on 20 January 1919
- Joseph Leo Byrnes at Tours, France on 5 February 1919
- J. Owens Fisher at Coblenz, Germany on 1 March 1919
All of these men are memorialized on a monument located on the village green in Kenmore.
Meetings were held in the Village of Kenmore Hall until 1923 when the Odd Fellow’s Temple/Machinists Hall, located at Kenmore and Myron, was obtained for the combined use of the Post and its newly-formed Auxiliary (composed of mothers, wives, widows and sisters of Legion members).
Odd Fellow's Temple
By 1925 the Post had outgrown these facilities and proposed the construction of a Town Memorial Hall to combine public offices and a meeting place for the Post. The proposal was adopted and construction of the Post’s current location was completed in 1926.
In 1975 the Post purchased three paintings by Carlo Nisita of Kenmore, which are still prominently displayed in the First Floor Hall.
A Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post 205 was formed on 8 September 1923. The Legion has every reason to be proud of its Auxiliary. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to co-operate in every Legion activity.
MEMORIAL DAY remembers the men and women who have died while serving in our military. It is an American tradition and is commemorated in thousands of communities across the nation. The earliest record of a Memorial Day was on April 25, 1886, when the women of Columbus, Mississippi, put flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers in the city cemetery. Other communities followed and the holiday was also known as Decoration Day (as in decorating the graves with flowers and flags). It wasn't until 1967 that the U.S. government officially declared the holiday as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is always celebrated on the last Monday in May.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to events throughout the Kenmore and Town of Tonawanda community, veterans keep sacred the memory of our war dead by decorating their graves on this National Holiday. Wreath-laying ceremonies are held at Faling Cemetery at the graves of four veterans of the War of 1812 and a Civil War soldier; the Veteran’s Monument at Colvin and Brighton; the Vietnam Memorial on Brighton Road; the VFW Monument in Elmlawn Cemetery; the Field of Honor in Elmlawn Cemetery; the World War II Monument in Mount Olivet Cemetery; the Municipal Building; and the monument in front of the Brounshidle Post. Annually the Post co-sponsors a Memorial Day Parade with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Town of Tonawanda.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS' DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War I. Veteran's Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veteran's and is celebrated on November 11th. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all Veterans.
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