History of the Man behind the Name of John J. Morris Post 62
Research & Biography by Dave Broyles, Historian
John was born Nov. 3, 1903 in Limerick City, Ireland. He was a man of great faith, and began training for the priesthood at a very early age. He attended seminary until the age of thirteen when poverty, political strife, and the outbreak of influenza changed his life forever. The influenza outbreak claimed three of his brothers and two sisters when John then immigrated through Canada to the United States.
In 1926, he began working for the Burlington Railway in Chicago and, except for a tour of military service, worked for the company until his retirement in 1968. During his military tour, he served as a medic in the Army. In 1943, he was riding in an ambulance when it struck a tree that killed five of his comrades. He vowed then, if such and not war had resulted in these five deaths; he would never drive a vehicle again…and he never did until his death in 1989.
His Legion life began when he joined Post 562 in Chicago. When he retired and moved to Youngtown, he transferred to American Legion Post 62. He met his wife Mildred, and following their marriage, became a devote Methodist. His transfer into Post 62 began a second career of service to the American Legion and all veterans.
He served in every office of Post 62. He was Post Commander for three terms: 1971-72, 1972-73, and 1975-76. He served as the District 11 Chaplain, Area B Chaplain several times, and as the Department of Arizona Chaplain in 1968-69. John conducted over 400 funeral services and many more memorial services of all faiths. Throughout his service, he was always on call for our veterans during rain storms, heat waves, and the coldest days in the mountains. His motto was “veterans, not faiths” and he could be found serving veterans throughout our state.
John could be seen on any given day providing spiritual support and service wherever the need arose not only to our veterans but out in the community. In his later years, illness took its toll, and until the last weeks of his life, John was always there for Post 62. One of his favorite goals was to begin and sustain the “Four Chaplains Service” for the Department of Arizona, Area B, District 11 and Post 62. His continued efforts for this program cannot be surpassed and he set an exemplary standard for all to aspire to.
As Service Officer, John pursued each and every government bill that could affect our veterans and their rights. John’s greatest attribute was his unselfish devotion and caring for our American Legion members and any veteran in need. His name was synonymous with the great Americans and Legionnaires of his time.
Following his death in 1989, Post 62 members unanimously voted to change the Youngstown/Sun City Post 62 name to John J. Morris Post 62, Peoria AZ.
A Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post ____ was formed on _______. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Auxiliary. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to co-operate in every Legion activity.
A Sons of the Legion for American Legion Post ____ was formed on _______. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Sons of Legion unit, which gained statewide recognition because of it's programs of service.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the _____ community, the goal of every Veteran to it's last man is to keep MEMORIAL DAY sacred to the memory of our war dead of all of the wars of the country; and all graves are decorated on this National Holiday.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS' DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War I. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all Veterans. It has been in ____. Annually the Post sponsored the Armistice Day Parade. An important tradition was established when the Post led in the memorial exercises at 11 o'clock on the morning of November 11, marking the exact hour of the cessation of hostility on the war fronts.
Registration Of Graves
Since it's inception American Legion Post ___ has been a leader in this community in the area of graves registration; which has been incorporated by all the American Legion Posts in ___ County. Grave Registration enables all interested parties to locate the site of the grave of each Veteran. American Legion Post ___ acquired a burial lot in ______ Cemetery and this has been marked by the erection of a massive monument marking it as the burial lot for servicemen without kin. Each year, active members place a flag on each Veteran's grave.
Scholarships and Community Projects
American LegionPost --- sponsors various scholarships for the further education of our children. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
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