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Legions of Americans served during WWI

By Staff | Jun 29, 2016

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary The Muncy American Legion Post home, also known as The Roland Ritter American Legion Post, is located near Halls Station in Muncy Township. Ritter was an WWI aviator, the borough's first and only fatality.

MUNCY – On March 16, 1919, shortly after the ending of WWI, the American Legion was formed. The federally chartered corporation was founded as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.

According to its website, “The American Legion founder was Theodore Roosevelt Junior, formed in Paris by the American Expeditionary Forces with headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The establishment of the American Legion Post at Muncy was facilitated by Brady R. Snyder who secured signatures of fifteen former WWi men thus entitling Muncy to a charter. Being a borough postal carrier, Snyder was in a position to be in charge of the paperwork.

Within the confines of the town, there had been only one war fatality, and so the group chose to honor the memory of Lieutenant Roland Ritter. The Pennsylvania Post #238 was established and for the 1919-1920 term, John Bruch, Senior, was elected its first Commander.

In addition to Bruch and Snyder, charter members included: Clayton G. Banzhaf, James H. Brewer, D. Arthur Clapp, Leonard C. Colley, Lester B. Grange, Sterling C. King, William J. McCarty, Walter P. Scott, Charles K. Sheridan, Rollin S. Sheridan, Benjamin H. Smith, Roland V. Strouse, and Charles E. Womelsdorf.

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary Decorating the landscape at the entranceway to the Muncy American Legion Post near Halls Station in Muncy Township are precast discs honoring each branch of the armed services. The one pictured honors the Air Force, the branch of WWI fatality Roland Ritter, for which the post is named.

Before the Post home moved to Halls in Muncy Township, it was located on the east side of North Main Street neighboring the Veterans Honor Park.

Currently situated on Legion Road the entrance way includes a narrow triangle of land designated to flags and flag poles, a brick facade on which the post number is identified. Also placed are a pair of armored tanks and a silhouette of a soldier on bended knee facing a pair of combat boots topped with a helmet. The area includes shrubs and vibrant, red, flowering rose bushes. Flat round cement disks have raised letters of insignias’ honoring all service branches.

Within the Muncy Post’s home, memorabilia lines the interior walls including several military items belonging to WWI veteran Lt. Roland Ritter.

As the centennial of the Great War approaches in April 2017, may communities be aware of the legions of Americans who for freedom fought.