Tuesday, December 7, 2021

National Commander of American Legion Visits Marco Island

Photos by Steve Stefanides | Commander Lee Rubenstein presents National American Legion Commander with a Marco Island Post Hat as a memento of his visit.

District 13 Commander for Southwest, Florida, Brian “Taz” Gehling (Left) with Local Post 404 Commander Lee Rubenstein in front of the Freedom Fountain.

Earlier in February, American Legion Post 404 in Marco Island was honored when the National Commander of the American Legion paid a visit to the island to view in person the Veterans’ Memorial which is located at Veterans’ Community Park.

The memorial, which was built primarily from donations made by Marco Island residents and visitors, had been a highlight of the visits by the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall when it visited the island not just once, not just twice, but three times over the last ten years.

Marco Island’s Veterans’ Memorial had the addition of the Freedom Fountain added to the original memorial as part of the community’s salute to veterans who have served in the armed forces.

Through the generous donations from individuals and organizations, and the sales of commemorative brick pavers, benches, service branch medallions, palm trees and flag poles, the Memorial has become a major attraction for residents and visitors alike.

City Manager (Left) chats with Local Legionnaires Lee Ross, Bob Sergeant, and Commander Lee Rubenstein.

The memorial had come to the attention of James W. “Bill” Oxford, National Commander of the American Legion, and while touring Florida with several other high-ranking members of his team, they would visit Marco Island to view the memorial in person and meet with a number of the Legion members of Post 404. Accompanying Oxford were District 13 Commander for Southwest Florida Brian “Taz” Gehling from Lehigh Acres.

“It was a great honor to have the National Commander and the other high-ranking members of his team visit with our Post members and view the memorial,” said Lee Rubenstein, Commander of Post 404. 

City Manager Michael McNees also welcomed the group on their visit. “This memorial speaks to the community’s love of our nation and their support of those that have worn the uniform in defense of our liberties. It’s a wonderful tribute to them,” said McNees.



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