MIDDLEPORT — There’s something in the window at 29 Main Street and it's been in the works for 100 years.
In March 1921, Clute-Phillips Post 938 was given the go-ahead on its charter by the newly founded American Legion, which is now the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.
“I have researched our post’s history and have placed much of the history I found in a store front display ... due to Covid restrictions and in lieu of a gathering event to celebrate our 100 years of service to this community,” said Kathy Kindle, 1st Vice Commander of Post 938.
The four pillars of interest for American Legion are Americanism, veterans and veterans’ rehabilitation, children and youth, and national security. They are upheld by the membership through support of activities such as Boy Scouts, youth softball and scholarships. American Legion posts also send high school junior boys to Boys State, a program that teaches the mechanics of government and politics; the participants learn how to run for elective office, set up a political party and run meetings, among other things.
Kindle, an Army veteran of 21 years, joined American Legion in 1979 and got active with the organization when she retired in 1994. She's not a native of the area but has made Middleport her home.
Clute-Phillips Post 938 is small — there are only 54 members, currently — but it has a history, according to Kindle.
The post is named after two Middleport men who served during World War I and died in France. Thomas Phillips’ body was exhumed and brought by train into Middleport in the fall of 1921, where the Post 938 charter members conducted honors for his re-burial at a local cemetery. Grover Clute remains buried in a cemetery in France.
Pictures, articles and American Legion's four pillars are presented in Post 938's centennial display.
“We’re going through a kind of renaissance in Middleport right now,” Kindle said. “Some of the buildings have been demolished on the inside. … The person who bought the store is renovating two other storefronts and through the Middleport historian, Christa Lutz, it was shared with me that he was looking to do something like this. So, I linked up with him and I got the window area set up ... .”
The display is ongoing through Flag Day on June 14.