WAYNE, NJ - Monday, September 16, 2019 marked the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the American Legion and at Wednesday’s Wayne Township council meeting, Mayor Chris Vergano honored local post 174 with an official proclamation from the Township of Wayne.

Present were Post 174 Commander Joe Fricker, a US Navy veteran and finance officer Bill Rucci, a US Army veteran who were called up to stand with Vergano and First Ward Councilman Richard Jasterzbski as the proclamation was read.

“So, tonight we celebrate the American Legion 100th anniversary,” said Vergano, who then read the proclamation that praised the Passaic County American Legion posts and especially Post 174 in Wayne for all of their service. “American Legion members not only support each other, they are extremely active in their communities in various fund-raising events, [and] supporting youth programs.”  Vergano ended the reading with: “The citizens of Passaic County celebrate and congratulate the men and women of the American Legion for their service to our community, county, state and nation, in uniform and out. And therefore, be it proclaimed by the municipal council and the Mayor of the Township of Wayne, as we honor and thank the American Legion for their many years of dedicated service to our community and beyond.”

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Vergano continued after the reading of the proclamation: “And so, I’m very proud to present this proclamation to our local Commander. We all know how much they do in our community. Not just for veterans but for those in need.  Time and time again we’ve seen fundraisers and various events, taking care of our children, our adults and those who kept our country safe. Gentlemen, congratulations.” Vergano shook hands with Fricker and Rucci and handed them the framed proclamation as the audience in attendance broke out in applause.

Commander Joe Ricker then addressed the Council and Mayor. “I’d like to thank you all. This is a great honor. We at Post 174 stand by a couple of simple rules, one is: Service to Community, State and Nation. We look forward to serving you in the future.”

Councilman Richard Jasterzbski, who is a member of the Sons of the American Legion spoke as well: “I just want to acknowledge the American Legion Post 174. I’ve been a member for about ten years now and I’ve been a councilman for six years. The outstanding dedication that the Legion has to residents in general, no matter the community. It doesn’t have to be a Wayne resident, it could be someone in need, someone who is down on their luck, it could be our veterans.  They reach out to everyone,” said Jasterzbsiki.  He finished with: “Thank you to the council, the mayor and to the Legion.”

Council President Franco Mazzei spoke for the council: “Congratulations to all your members and families.  About you, we would say the same thing again and again and over and over. Community State and Nation and it all starts with community.  We’re humbled to be before you tonight.  You are our esteemed guests and please convey our congratulations to the entire legion. 

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TAPinto Wayne published an extensive article on just how integral the American Legion Post 174 has been to Wayne Township a week ago, on the Legion’s anniversary.  You will find it here: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/wayne/articles/wayne-s-american-legion-post-174-a-force-for-good

As a correction to the original TAPinto Wayne American Legion article published on September 16, Commander Fricker mentioned that although the Passaic County Parks Department donated everything to make the area around the Moving Wall at Garret Mountain “Amazing,” it was Post 174 that paid for the Wall to come to Passaic County.

This correction was updated to the article.