The American Legion Post 34 will get together Saturday, Aug. 20, to gather old, historic veteran photos and military memorabilia for a time capsule commemorating the organization’s 75th anniversary.
Daphni Hagen, adjutant for the post, second vice for the American Legion Post 34 auxiliary and veteran, said the capsule will be buried at the end of the year’s celebration, in December 2022. As of right now, the plan is for the capsule to be constructed of a concrete box that will be placed at the front of the post by the road. It will be opened in 25 years for the post’s 100th anniversary.
“We’re still discussing what’s going to go in there, but it’s going to be something that’s near and dear to veterans, or the families of veterans,” Hagen said. “Any kind of memorabilia that means something that when we open it in 25 years it’s probably something that doesn’t exist anymore, or something from the past.”
She did clarify that while they would love to include everything, the capsule is limited in size, and therefore the items can’t be too big. That way, if everyone keeps their items a little smaller, then more people have the chance to put something in.
“We’re looking for something that could even be like a piece of paper or a letter somebody sent to their spouse or family back from World War II, Korea or Vietnam,” Hagen said. “It doesn’t even have to be a wartime thing. But just something that means something. … Anything from past veterans, from mothers, fathers, grandmas, grandpas — anybody that was in the service, any kind of memorabilia from them.”
She said they would ideally like to keep it to just the Post 34 members, but there are so many veterans in the area who use or are involved with the post and are not actually members. There are several snowbirds who are official members elsewhere, but call Post 34 home during the winter months, and those people are certainly not going to be left out.
“There’s going to be a committee that decides what goes in there and who could put it in there,” she said. “But, you know, all the posts are about the veterans and what we can do for veterans and their families. So we’re going to consider other posts, of course.”
The goal for the capsule is twofold. One, it shows current veterans and veteran families people do still care about their service, stories and experiences. It gives them a chance to be remembered and to pass on their story.
Two, it allows future generations to get a glimpse into what military life was like in the past. There may be items put in the capsule that will be completely foreign or extinct by the time it is opened. When opened, the capsule will not only provide history about the military, but, for some, it may also open up unknown family history as well.
“It’s just kind of neat that these are things that probably wouldn’t mean anything to a four-year-old kid right now. But a 29 year old, you know, 25 years from now, might get a real kick out of what comes out of there, and what their parents, grandparents or whoever put in,” Hagen said.
“To me, I just find it amazing that we can have something that’s meaningful to somebody. Like I said, 25 years from now, that child’s going to be an adult, maybe with their children of their own that they can share something that they may never have seen with their children or their family.”
Post 34 will start gathering items on Saturday, Aug. 20, but will continue collecting items through the end of the year. The items gathered are not guaranteed to be put in the capsule. The committee will decide what goes in.
American Legion Post 34 is located at 6272 E. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek, and its mission is to support and advocate on behalf of veterans, active military and their families, consistently reaching out to assist veterans and others in need.