Under normal circumstances, the July meeting of American Legion Post 370 is when post commander Ed McCloskey hands out the annual hardware recognizing the efforts of Post 370 members.
To this point, 2020 has been anything but normal.
“I feel like ‘Punxsutawney Ed,’ coming out every few months from isolation to see how much longer we have before we can resume our activities,” McCloskey said as he presided over an outdoor awards ceremony at the Highlands Veteran’s Plaza on Saturday morning. “Taking a moment to honor our members that have done so much for the Post and for our community is important and I didn’t want 2020 to go by without doing just that.”
American Legion Post 370, which has been active since 1946, has a current membership of 62 veterans. McCloskey explained what each element of the American Legion logo symbolizes and noted that service has always been at the heart of the post’s mission.
“Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have not had a post meeting since February,” McCloskey said “A decision about our August meeting hasn’t been made at this time, but I didn’t want our awards to go unnoticed due to a lack of meeting opportunities.”
McCloskey presented the Legionnaire of the Year award to Kenneth Knight.
“Ken is always available for anything that the post needs and he volunteers his time without hesitation,” McCloskey said. “He serves as our post financial officer and he has done a great job in that role.”
James Lowe was made an honorary life member of Post 370. Bill Reese, Dennis Bowman, Bill Edwards and Griffin Bell were each recognized for their meritorious service to the post. Matt Minton received a special recognition.
“Along with our post awards, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that legionnaire Zack Claxton was recently named President of the Rotary Club of Highlands,” McCloskey said. “Also, legionnaire Bill Stiefel and his wife Rosemary were recently honored with the Gertrude and Dolly Harbison service award for their countless volunteer hours and efforts at Hudson Library.”
American Legion Post 370 will resume monthly meetings as soon as local and state regulations related to COVID-19 allow. The post gathers at 9 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month for breakfast, followed by a meeting, at the 909 Chapel at First Methodist Church on Main Street in Highlands.