National Chaplain's Message
National Chaplain of The American Legion
Edward L. Harris Jr.
Four months that all chaplains must remember:
- February - The Four Chaplains Service is one of the most honored events that should never be forgotten.
- May - Ensure that posts place a wreath on the grave of every veteran within their community, across the country over Memorial Day. “Let’s ensure that everyone’s has a wreath.” Post Everlasting is a poignant reminder for all of those who have passed on throughout the year and we must find the time to honor them.
- November - Veterans Day is a time to a day remember the sacrifices made by those who served at home and abroad, each giving of their time. We must remember all veterans who came before us and that we [The American Legion] stand for something. Never forget.
- December - Pearl Harbor Day
Each chaplain is encouraged to share best practices and give feedback to the National Chaplain, through their department chaplains, as to the state of affairs across the nation. This allows us, at National Headquarters, to receive new and innovative ways to provide assistance to your formations. We are then able to provide information gleaned from our network of chaplains across the country and update – from time to time – our publications that he have for the Chaplains throughout the organization. We at The American Legion have the Chaplain's Handbook listed on our publications page of the Legion website (https://www.legion.org/publications/220452/chaplains-handbook). It provides a basic outline of the responsibilities of a Chaplain from the perspective of The American Legion and how to accomplish some of The American Legion customs and procedures associated with the chaplaincy.
Additionally, through the Emblem Sales page you may also purchase a Chaplain's Prayer Book (https://www.legion.org/publications/160913/chaplains-prayer-book). This provides some non-denominational prayers and prayers for some specific events.
Another good reference is The American Legion Post Officer Guide and Manual of Ceremonies (https://www.legion.org/publications/246556/2019-officers-guide). This provides everything an individual would need to know to run a post meeting, post everlasting, or other such Legion ceremonies.
For those who are new to the chaplaincy or are interested in becoming a chaplain, the presentation will provide a basic primer on what a chaplain is as well as what a chaplain should and more importantly should NOT do with their position.