War veterans from around the world and across the nation begin arriving in Baltimore this week for activities surrounding the 97th National Convention of The American Legion, the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans.
“We expect nearly 10,000 members of The American Legion Family to take part in convention activities between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.” said Michael E. Walton, chairman of The American Legion National Convention Commission. “Legionnaires and their families will actually be attending three different, but simultaneous, conventions – The American Legion convention, the American Legion Auxiliary convention and the Sons of the American Legion convention.”
Blue-capped Legionnaires will be seen primarily in the downtown area where they will be housed in a number of hotels consuming approximately 17,000 room nights as they meet in business sessions at the Baltimore Convention Center. They are expected to contribute between $13 million and $15 million to the city economy through shopping, dining and tourism during their stay.
“We are delighted to be back to the great city of Baltimore,” Walton said. “This is our second time we have convened in Baltimore. Legionnaires truly enjoy the outstanding hospitality extended by everyone in this beautiful city.”
Previous American Legion conventions were held in Baltimore in 1989.
Veterans of all five branches of military service who have served in uniform during wartime, or are currently serving, are invited to join The American Legion and participate in the convention activities. Just stop by the national headquarters offices at the Baltimore Convention Center, Swing/Hall F, level one-hundred anytime from Aug. 27 through Sept. 3 or join online at www.legion.org.
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.