Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary
For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:
To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America;
To maintain law and order
To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism;
To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations during the Great Wars;
To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation;
To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses;
To make right the master of might;
To promote peace and goodwill on earth;
To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy;
To participate in and contribute to the accomplishment
of the aims and purposes of The American Legion;
To consecrate and sanctify our association by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.
Explanation of the Preamble|
When the American Legion Auxiliary was formed to aid in the peacetime service of The American
Legion to the United States, it was natural and right that the purposes of the Auxiliary
be expressed in the same words which set forth the purposes of the Legion. Therefore,
the Preamble to the Constitution of the Auxiliary is nearly identical to that of the Legion's
Preamble to the Constitution with the addition of the very significant phrase " to participate
in and contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of The American Legion.
"To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America"
The first of the ten principles of The American Legion and Auxiliary is a sacred
pledge of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. It is most appropriate
that the first ideas presented in the Preamble be dedicated to the continued defense of our
nation by those very persons who have either served in war-time or had a close relative
who served. The pledge to uphold and defend the democracy of America is the
first obligation of every Legionnaire and Auxiliary member.
To maintain law and order"
Law and order must be maintained if freedom is to be maintained. Liberty
is not a license. Good government means that all citizens are secure in their lives
and property. To this, the Legion and Auxiliary are pledged by the second principle
stated in the Preamble.
"To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism"
The term " Americanism" covers all of the things which have made the American nation
great and the American people free. It implies qualities of character as well
as principles of government. Under this Constitution's principles, the Legion and Auxiliary have
worked, and are continuing to work, to defeat the attempts of subversive organizations to
undermine our system, to build loyalty to and confidence in American ideals, and to
develop an American citizenship capable of making America's free form of government a
constantly greater success.
" To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations during the Great Wars"
Every member of the Auxiliary has close
personal associations with the sacrifice of
war, be it World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam,
Grenada/Lebanon, Panama, and the Persian Gulf
War. The associations and incidents
of these struggles are to be remembered not
only for their heroes, their victories for
freedom, but also to remind us of the awful
implications and the inevitable tragedies
accompanying any war.
" To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation"
The individual is the basis of the American
nation. Unlike other ideals of government,
the American ideal places the individual first.
The nation belongs to the individual, not
the individual to the nation. The government
exists for the purpose of serving the individual,
not the individual for the purpose of serving
the nation. If this ideal is to survive,
there must be a voluntary sense of obligation
of the individual to the nation and its component
parts, the community and state. The
American citizen serves his community, state
and nation, not as a driven slave, but
as a free man guided by his own sense of duty.
To inculcate this feeling among all American
is one of the great purposes of the Legion
"To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses"
If America is to remain"the land of
the free," the government must always be a
government of all the people and for all the
people. No classes are recognized in
America. America must be kept the country
of opportunity for all, where every citizen's
first allegiance is to the nation not to some
social or economic class or mass. Dominance
must not be gained by any such grouping of
Americans. This is another basic pledge
of the Legion and Auxiliary.
" To make right the master of might"
The American form of government guarantees
equal rights to all citizens. The American
Legion Auxiliary, born from a struggle against
ruthless might, pledges all their strength
to a continued struggle to prevent invasion
of the rights of any citizens by any force,
no matter of what character.
" To promote peace and goodwill on earth..."
The men and women of the Legion and the women of the Auxiliary know well the ghastly
futility of war. We know that war brings only misery to any nation which engages in
it, to the victor as well as the vanquished. With the lessons of war constantly in mind,
we pledge ourselves to promote peace and goodwill among nations. We have worked steadily
in the cause in the face of forces which have sought to sow enmity and war throughout the world.
" To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy"
These were the principles which inspired America's great war efforts over the decades,
and the Legion and Auxiliary stand determined that these principles shall not be lost to
America in time of peace. Following this pledge, the Legion and Auxiliary work
to safeguard justice, freedom, and democracy against the dangers of indifferent citizenship
and undermining by their enemies. It strives to give understanding of and devotion
these principles to the younger generations of Americans so that they will endure for
the future of the country.
"To participate in and contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of The American Legion"
Thus, the Auxiliary pledges its full strength to the support of The American Legion,
and affirms its character as an auxiliary to the Legion. It has always been faithful
to this pledge, never developing programs or policies of its own, but directing all
of its activities toward the "accomplishment of the aims and purposes of The American Legion.
" To consecrate and sanctify our association by our devotion to mutual helpfulness."
In this final phrase of the Preamble is set forth the purpose which has guided
the Legion and Auxiliary in all of their vast rehabilitation and youth work; in everything
they have done to lighten the burden for those suffering from the results of wars; and to
bring full justice to those paying the human price for America's victory. In this
work of mercy and relief, the Auxiliary has made great contributions toward the achievement
of the Legion's purpose.