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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois


Josefina Frances


President Sue Cuniff-Coughlin’s theme for 2019 – 2020 is to “Celebrate Our Past and Awaken our Future.” It is said a photograph “is worth a thousand words”; and photographs allow us to leave a memory of ourselves, who we are today, for future generations to remember us by.

I would like to suggest each unit do a photo project. Photograph each of your members and include this photograph in the membership book.

Besides the members written history, you would then have a photograph to remember the member by. How many times we speak of past members and someone says, “I don’t remember them.” The photographs could be 5”x7” or smaller. Small enough to keep in the membership book.

This could be a fun Community Service project for the Juniors to do. The Juniors can be the photographers, and create a photo history of both the Juniors and the Senior members in their units.

How many units have old photo books laying inside filing cabinets? When was the last time anyone looked at them? Who are the people in the photos? When were the photos taken?

The unit historian should take the time to find the old photo albums and, if possible, start identifying the people in the photographs. Ask the older members to help identify the photos and, at the same time, to share their stories of the event the photo was taken at.

This is the age of electronics, social media is king, and we share photos and memories with the quick stroke of a finger sliding across a screen.

But how can we preserve our memories and our photographs to be shared within the unit? How can we preserve our electronic photographs, so we can share them with new members 10, 20 or 100 years from now?

Each unit must answer these questions for themselves; using the tools available to them to preserve their photographs. We have to start thinking as curators of a museum, we must learn to catalogue and store our photographs as the treasures they are.

During the 2019 – 2020 membership year, we celebrate the Auxiliary’s Centennial Year. We celebrate our Past and our Future.

I invite members to send me fun photos you have from years past with the Past Department Presidents, the photos will be shared on slide shows throughout the year, as we celebrate our Centennial. Let’s remember and honor our past.

I also invite members to submit funny photos of President Sue taken this year, or photos of President Sue attending and celebrating our Centennial parties throughout the year. These photos will help celebrate our Today and Preserve for the Future.

Below is a great example of the history of this great organization. This is a photograph taken in 1924 and the photo is found on the American Legion Auxiliary National website

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The caption reads: New Executive Officers Womans. Aux. American Legion. St. Paul, MINN. 1924

Personal Awards:
$5.00 To one winner in each Division that submits the best photo and narrative of a Photo of a Past Department President. Please include a narrative with the photo to identify the event and the people in the photograph.

$5.00 To one winner in each Division that submits a fun photo of President Sue or submits the best photo of President Sue attending their unit’s Centennial celebration. Please include a narrative with the photo to identify the event and the people in the photograph.

$10.00 To one Junior unit, in each Division, who photographs and creates a photo history of the members in their units. Submit a couple of photos showing their membership books including the photographs. Please include a narrative with the photo to identify the unit, district and division, and the number of members in the unit.

Illinois American Legion Family Image Event Site

The link to access the photos is:

Click on the photo album cover you see, and then the individual photo albums will appear. Each photo album has a description of the event and the date of the event.

If you wish to save any photo to your computer, click on the photo you want, press and hold or right click to choose “Save image as”, to save the photo to your electronic device.

Here you’ll also find the Department photo albums for last year, 2018 - 2019.