Welcome to AmLegionMerchantville.com, the official web site of American Legion F.W Grigg Post 68 in Merchantville!
The history of the American Legion dates back to March of 1919, when members of the American Expeditionary Force met in Paris, France and an organization with unselfish and patriotic purpose was founded. Later that year, the American Legion was granted a charter by the United States Congress.
On August 11, 1919, 17 local veterans met in The Club at 19 Centre St. in Merchantville to form one of the original posts in the American Legion Department of New Jersey.
It is prohibited to name a Post after a living person. The names of three local veterans who had made the ultimate sacrifice were put forward for a vote. Frederick W. Grigg received nine votes; Henry Bowes received five votes; and Joseph A. Tinsman received two votes. As a result, Frederick W. Grigg Post 68 was formed. The Post was issued a temporary charter by the national headquarters on August 13, 1919 and a permanent charter on March 24, 1921.
Frederick W. Grigg was born on May 17, 1897 in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He was the 10th of 11 children of William and Mary Grigg. In the summer of 1910, the Grigg family moved to Merchantville.
Young Frederick first joined the United States Army at the age of 16. He served in Battery B, 1st New Jersey Artillery during the intervention with Mexico in 1916. After the Battery returned to Camden, he was mustered out of the service.
When the United States entered the Great War, Frederick enlisted in the 2nd New Jersey National Guard. After several stateside assignments, Grigg sailed for France in June of 1918, where he was assigned to Company E, 113th Infantry Regiment.
Corporal Grigg was killed in the Meuse-Argonne Forest battle in October 1918. He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France.
Since its formation in 1919, the Post has been part of the fabric of the Merchantville and Pennsauken communities. At one point in the 1920s and 1930s, the Post sponsored one of the largest Boy Scout troops in Camden County. Today, it works closely with BSA Troop 119.
Each year, the Post sponsors the American Legion Department of New Jersey coloring contest for fourth and fifth grade students in local elementary schools. The contest is part of the American Legion Americanism Program. The Post also sponsors two young men to participate in Boys State, an annual program were high school juniors learn the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of citizenship.
For over 50 years, the Post has conducted a Memorial Day service at Wellwood Park to honor the service of those who served in all past conflicts. This patriotic event culminates with the laying of Memorial Wreaths by various community organizations.
Many ask, “What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?” Memorial Day is to remember those veterans who have died. Veterans Day is to honor living veterans. Often those veterans in nursing homes are forgotten. For the past several years, Post members have visited local nursing homes on Veterans Day so those veterans aren’t forgotten. In addition, the Post participated in the First Annual Philadelphia Veterans Parade last November.
The American Legion was instrumental in the adoption of the “Flag Code” by the United States Congress in 1942. Respect for the flag is one of the core principals of the Legion. Post 68 sponsors a drop box where residents can leave old American flags for proper disposal. The collection box is a red mail box located next to the Maple Ave. entrance of Merchantville Borough Hall.
The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization. It is committed to mentoring youth, sponsorship of wholesome community programs, advocating for patriotism, promoting strong national security and devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. Corporal Grigg surely must be proud of Post 68 and its service to the community.