Each American Legion Post conducts a solemn Post Everlasting Ceremony once each year. The lights are turned off or dimmed in the Post’s Hall, and the Service may be conducted totally by Candle Light from a table. The Posts’ Commander then reads the names of the Members being transferred, and the Post Adjutant records the names in the Roll Book of Post Everlasting. A “Tripod” of three Military Rifles, with a Helmet placed over the Barrels, represents the Legionnaires service in the Armed Forces of The United States. A Legion Cap is placed on the Tripod in recognition to their Service in The American Legion. The Helmet, placed upon a tripod, holds a Sacred Fire used to transfer the deceased Legionnaires’ Records from each Post to Post Everlasting. The Post Sergeant-At-Arms then transmits each deceased Member’s Record individually, by setting fire to each of the deceased Legionnaires’ Records and placing them into the Post Everlasting Fire in the Helmet.
At some Posts the Chaplain then reads, “Our Heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom has Transferred our Comrades to the Jurisdiction of the Post Everlasting of The American Legion. May their souls rest in Peace. Amen.” Or the Chaplain reads, “O Lord, you have shown us that death is but the Gateway to a more Glorious Life, and that we must not fear its coming; and we know, also, that neither Life nor Death can separate us from Your Love. Assure us yet again that our Departed Comrades are not lost to us, but sharing new Life with You in the Kingdom of Our Father, where we shall in Your Good Time be reunited. We know Them to be with You Forever. Amen.”
Families of deceased Members are often invited to attend the Post Everlasting Ceremony. Each family may receive an American Legion Post Everlasting Certificate noting their loved one’s Transfer to Post Everlasting. In addition, some Posts provide in person or by mail, a Presidential Memorial Certificate for each of the deceased Legionnaires. This Certificate expresses the Country’s grateful appreciation of the Veteran’s Service in the United States Armed Forces and is signed by the current President of the United States.
According to the American Legion, when a comrade passes the moment is one of honor. The memory of his/her life in the service of country has now been enrolled in the great spirit army, whose footfalls cause no sound, but in the memory of mankind, their souls go on marching, sustained by the pride of service in time of war. Because of them our lives are free: because of them our nation lives: because of them, our world is blessed.