Veterans of Foreign Wars
Initiation Ritual


Opening Post Ceremonies
The hour of opening having arrived, the officer of the day displays the Flag of the United States and Bible on the altar; leaving Bible closed, after which the commander takes station and gives one rap for attention.
Commander: The officers will take their respective stations. All persons not members of the VFW will kindly retire, and the guard will close the doors. The commander ascertains if nonmembers have retired.
Commander: By the power and authority vested in me, I am about to open … Post No. … for the transaction of any business that may lawfully come before it * *. Officer of the Day, satisfy yourself that all present are entitled to remain.
The officer of the day will examine each comrade, assisted as directed by the commander. Those found in possession of official VFW dues receipts for the current calendar year take seats. Officer of the day then advances to the altar; salutes the commander and says:
Officer of Day: Comrade Commander, I find all, except those standing, in possession of official VFW dues receipts for the current calendar year.
Commander instructs the quartermaster to determine the status of members standing. Those who have not paid their current dues will be required to pay said dues or leave the meeting room. Quartermaster will report his findings to the Commander.
Commander: Officer of the Day, you will prepare the Post room for the salute to the colors. * *.
Officer of Day: Color Bearers and Guard fall in.
After bearers and guard fall in at altar.
Officer of Day: Salute the Commander—two.
Using appropriate commands Officer of Day marches color guard from Post room.
When ready to enter with colors Officer of Day knocks on door and announces to guard.
Officer of Day: Officer of the Day with the colors.
Guard: Comrade Commander, Officer of the Day with the colors.
Commander: Admit the Officer of Day with the colors Salute the colors. Two.
Commander: Attention!
Chaplain proceeds to altar; taking his station between it and senor vice-commander’s station. Chaplain faces altar and opens Bible.
Commander: Parade rest!
Both colors execute parade rest with the heel of the pikes resting on the floor as in “Order Colors.”
Pikes are held with both hands front center of the body, left hand uppermost.
Chaplain: Let us bow our heads O, Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, who are the Lord of Hosts and God of Peace, without Thee our efforts are vain Continue Thy blessings upon us and our families, we pray Thee, and guide us during our deliberations.
We beseech Thee, O God, to bless the dependents of our departed comrades, and to comfort all who gave their loved ones to our nation’s cause.
Bless and strengthen the Sick, the needy and the afflicted.
Bless, we ask Thee, the widows and children in our National Home and help us to fulfill our duty toward them.
Continue Thy favor upon our order, and help us to practice the spirit of true comradeship, both in our councils and with the world at large. Enable us to better the community in which we live through our devotion to duty as citizens.
We now have a moment of silent prayer for our departed comrades.
Short pause.
These and all other necessary blessings we ask ot Thee, Mighty Ruler of the Universe, Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Chaplain takes his regular station.
Commander: Attention Comrades, you will join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America One, salute “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Commander: Two, at attention. We will now sing our opening song, “ America .”
My country, ‘tis of Thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing,
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.
Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of Liberty ,
To Thee we sing
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King
Commander: Officer of the Day, you will place the colors.
Officer of the day marches color detail to positions in accordance with the Federal Flag Code (Public Law 94-344), the Flag of the United States should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the Commander’s right as he faces the audience. The Post standard is placed on the Commander’s left and the audience’s right.
When colors are placed, officer of the day returns color detail to altar; facing the commander’s station. He then dismisses color detail as follows.
Officer of Day: Color Guards, Ground (or stack) arms!
Officer of Day: Color Detail, Salute! Two!
Officer of Day: Color Detail, Face!
Officer of Day: Color Detail, Dismissed!
Note: The national color guard and color bearer sit by chaplain Post; color guard and cotor bearer sit by junior vice-commander; Color detail go to their respective seats.
Commander: Comrades, we are assembled again to transact business of mutual benefit. Do not let petty jealousies or trivial personalities influence our deliberations.
Let us uphold always the obligations of unselfish comradeship and loyalty to our organization and to the government of the United States of America
I now declare … Post No. … duly opened for the transaction of business Guard, you will admit any in waiting who may be worthy.
When the commander gives the command of “Parade Rest,”a memberin uniform or wearing VFW cap shall remain at parade rest, shall not remove his cap during prayer, and shall remain at parade rest until another command is given.
If distinguished guests enter; or are in the room, the commander will accord them the proper honors, after which a brief recess may be granted to welcome them informally. If none is present, or; after the recess, the commander raps for order. All present take stations and seats to resume business.
Ceremonial Initiation
At the discretion of a Post the ceremonial initiation may be exemplified in public The ceremony should be used at least quarterly and every time there are two or more recruits, if it is at all possible to do so. Every quarter a large class should be arranged for and during the ceremonial all officers should be in uniform, if possible.
Officers shall make every effort to memorize their parts.
There shall be absolutely no smoking, and quiet must be observed during the entire ceremony.
A comrade should be stationed and ready to turn on all lights and all comrades shall stretch forth their right hands in token of comradeship at the proper time.
Candidates are called recruits until obligated, then called comrades.
Senior and junior vice-commanders carry swords. They will hold their swords with the tips resting on the floor fhe officers facing each other. When the commander makes an about-face and commands “Form the arch of chivalry” the swords are brought up, the tips touching, thus forming an arch .When addressing the commander all officers salute in a military manner. The commander will return the salute. All officers exchange salutes when addressing each other.
Preparation of Room
Small tent should be erected to right and in front of the adjutant’s station, artificial campfire in front of tent, on right side, stack of arms on left side, as you face it.
Replica of VFW insigne outlined on transparency with light back of it is placed at or above the cornmander’s station, if this does not give light enough a very dim light may be used at or over altar. All other lights out.
Sentry in uniform, with cartridge belt, rifle and bayonet, marching post between the adjutant’s and junior vice-commander’s stations. In path between the quartermaster’s and chaplain’s stations, a comrade dressed in military uniform, with bandage about the head and with ghastly countenance, is concealed behind a grave. The grave shall be of green matting with sprinkling of poppies and wreaths At the headshall be a canvas with the image or painting of a battleground scene, and behind this the departed comrade conceals himself. At the foot of the grave shall be a cross with overseas helmet hung on it. Spot or floodlights out in front of cross, operated by departed comrade, spotlight comes on as officer of the day approaches.
As officer of the day approaches with the new comrades, the departed comrade slowly rises from his position behind the canvas, exhibiting his ghastly form.
In the path between the chaplains and senior vicecommander’s stations, a comrade in civilian clothes and with arm in sling and head bandaged will be seeking alms.
Commander: Officer of the Day, you will retire and ascertain if there are any recruits in waiting.
Officer of the day retires and ascertains the names of fhe recruits, returns to the Postroom, advancing to the altar, salufes and says:
Officer of Day: Comrade Commander, I find in waiting the following recruits who desire to become members of this Post. Here gives names of recruits.
Commander: Adjutant, have the recruits been duly proposed and elected?
Adjutant answers. If answer is favorable, says: They have.
Commander: Quartermaster, have all fees been paid?
Quartermaster answers. If answer is favorable, says: They have. If not, quartermaster will retire and collect the fees, return and report to the commander.
Only those recruits from whom all answers are favourable and who have paid their fees in full shall be admitted.
Commander: Officer of the Day, you will retire to the anteroom, perform the duties of your office and if the answers are favorable, prepare the recruits and escort them to the Post room by gaining admittance in the proper manner, halting them at the senior vicecommander’s station.
Officer of the day retires and asks the recruits the following questions:
Q Have you ever been rejected, suspended, or expelled from any Post of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars of the Untted States?
Q Do you promise, on yourword of honor, to abide by the Constitution, By-laws and ritual of this order?
If the answers are correct officer of the day places recruits in column of twos and notifies guard.
Guard: Comrade Commandert Officer of the day with recruits.
Commander: Senior Vice-Commander, it is your duty to see that the recruits are properly guided during their initiation and aided while receiving instructions.
You will instruct the guard to admit the officer of the day with recruits.
Senior Vice-Commander to guard: Admit officer of the day with recruits.
Commander, upon the entrance of the officer of the day, with recruits, gives two raps at which all rise and stand at attention. Lights out.
Senior Vice-Commander: Officer of the Day, it is the order of the commander that you guide these recruits during their initiation, and aid them in their instructions until such time as the commander may commend them to the members of this Post for the practice of true comradeship, such as only those who have seen foreign service may truly know.
Guard well your charge so that none may falter by the wayside.
Recruits are marched to the chaplain’s station via junior vice-commander’s and commander’s stations.
They face the chaplain.
Officer of Day: Comrade Chaplain, I present these recruits so that they may benefit by your counsel.
Chaplain: What you are about to experience has a purpose. Be on your guard at all times, for there are as many dangers in time of peace, and in private life, as there were in active service.
When the danger seems greatest, or you feel most discouraged, you will often find friends and receive assistance from unexpected quarters. Remember well your instructions, so that you may practice true comradeship which is the fundamental object of our order.
Officer ofthe Day, guide the recruits further during their instruction.
Commander seats the members—one rap.
Officer of the day guides the recruits past the senior vice-commander’s station, and when they have arrived at the junior vice-commander’s station, the sentry still walking his post, challenges sharply.
Sentry: Halt! Who is there?
Officer of Day: Officer of the day with recruits who wish to become members of this Post.
Sentry: Junior Vice-Commander, the officer of the day, with recruits who wish to become members of this Post
Junior Vice-Commander: What credentials have these recruits that gained them admittance to our outer lines?
Officer of Day: An honorable discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States (Or still in active service, as the case may be) with a record of foreign service which has been found valid by out investigating committee.
Junior Vice-Commander: Recruits, each of you in turn, with what organization, in what wars and where did you see foreign service?
Officer of the day prompts each recruit in turn. The recruits make their own replies, being questioned a second time if necessary.
Junior Vice-Commander: All is well at this station.
Officer of the Day, you will guide the recruits to the senior vice-commander.
Sentry resumes post. Officer of the day guides recruits around the room by way of the commander’s station and halts before senior vice-commander’s station.
After exchange of salutes officer of day says:
Officer of Day: Comrade Senior Vice-Commander, by direction of the junior vice-commander, I present these recruits whose records have been approved by him and who now desire to enter our inner lines, for instructions in the fundamental principles of our beloved organization.
Senior Vice-Commander: Recruits, your desire to enter this Post is a worthy one. Neither wealth, rank nor social distinction can gain you entrance. Only your loyal Service under the Flag of the United States , during time of war, on foreign soil, or in hostile waters, or in the unfriendly skies over them will admit you to out fraternal circle.
The objects of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States are fraternal, patriotic, historical and educational.
To preserveand strengthen comradeship among its members.
To assist worthy comrades.
To perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, and to assist their widows and children.
To maintain true allegiance to the government of the United States of America , and fidelity to its Constitution and laws.
To foster true patriotism.
To maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom.
And to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies whomsoever.
Before proceeding it will be necessary for you to take a solemn obligation, in which I assure you there is nothing which will conflict with your religious or political belief, your freedom of civilian pursuits or obligations to your family.
Knowing all this are you still willing to become members of this Post?
Senior Vice-Commander: Officer of the Day, you will guide the recruits to the altar and prepare them to assume the obligation of a comrade of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States . Salutes.
Officer of the day guides recruits to the altar and places them in proper position.
Officer of Day, salutes: Comrade Commander, the recruits are prepared to take the solemn obligation of this great order.
Commander calls Post to attention—two raps. Then advances to altar ready to give obligation. Meanwhile, chaplain advances to station two paces to rear and left of commander. Sentry advances to station two paces to the rear and right of the commander, comes to “Present Arms”and remains in that position until the command “as you were.” All three face recruits who are at altar.
Commander: You will raise your right hand and touch the flag of our country with your left hand.
Commander: You will pronounce your name when I pronounce mine, and repeat after me:
In the presence of Almighty God—and the members of this order here assembled—I, … name, do of myown free will and accord, solemnly promise and declare that I will bear true allegiance—to the government of the United States of America—and I will always be loyal thereto—and will never bear arms—nor in any way use my influence—against its laws or institutions.
I do further solemnly promise and declare that I will comply with the Constitution—By-Laws and Ritual of this order—and I will always be loyal thereto—that I will never wrong nor defraud this organization—nor a member thereof—nor permit any wrong to be done to either—if in my power to prevent it.
I will never propose for membership—any person not eligible—according to our Constitution—nor one whom I know to be unworthy.
I will never make known to anyone—not authorized to receive it—any of the work of this order.
Should my affiliation—with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States —cease in any way—I will consider this pledge—as binding outside of the older—as though I had remained a member of same.
All this I promise and pledge—upon the honor of a true comrade—and a citizen of our great republic.
Commander: As you were. Parade, rest.
Chaplain: Almighty God, we ask Thy blessing upon these our comrades who now become fellow members.
May the tender ties formed amid the privations and dangers of war be drawn closer by our fellowship in this order.
May our union foster among us an enduring comradeship and a spirit of mutual loyalty and support in every walk of life.
May these comrades dedicate and devote their lives to Thy service, and as Thou didst spare them during the perils of war, giant that henceforth they may be spared for a useful life, to the honor and glory of Thy Holy Name. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Commander: Attention!
Commander, pointing to the Holy Bible: Comrades, BEHOLD the Great Guide of all good citizens, and especially of comrades ofthis order, regardless of creed or birth. In it you will find the precepts of true comradeship and citizenship to which we all aspire. Pointing to the flag: BEHOLD the Flag of the United States , the flag of our country, for which you have fought and risked so much, for which many of our comrades have bled and died. It is your duty to uphold it at all times, in all places, in the conflicts of peace as well as of war, that its glorious folds and its traditions may not be sullied by enemies from within or from without.
In the following, at the word “darkness” all lights are turned on and all comrades stretch forth their right hands toward their new comrades and keep them extended until commander turns to resume his station.
Commander: BEHOLD, out of the darkness there are outstretched to you hands of true comradeship, backed by hearts that love you as a true comrade. See that you remain always worthy of their ready and willing service to you and yours.
Commander and chaplain resume stations Sentry resumes his post Commander seats the Post.
Commander: Officer of the Day, you will guide the comrades further along the path of comradeship, assisting them if need be in whatever trials may be encountered. At this point, all lights out except insigne.
Officer of the day gives commands necessary to march new comrades from altar by way of junior vice-commander’s station.
In the path between the quartermaster’s and chaplain’s stations, a comrade dressed in military uniform, with bandage about the head and with ghastly countenance, is concealed behind a grave. Spotlight comes on as officer of the day approaches. As officer of the day approaches with new comrades, the departed comrade slowly rises from his position behind the canvas, exhibiting his ghastly form.
Officer of Day, suddenly met with the apparition when in front of the commander’s station calls in sharp tones: Halt!
After a pause the commander gives two raps to bring Post to attention. All officers and members face toward the “departed comrade.”
Officer of Day: Behold! The spirit of a departed comrade!
Departed Comrade recites “In Flanders Fields” with great feeling:
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below
We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders Fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high
If ye break failh with us, who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies gtow
In Flanders Fields
Junior Vice-Commander, responding after a hushing pause: Sleep on, brave soldiers, sleep, sleep where the poppies grow,
Sleep on, brave soldiers, in your places, row on row
The lark’s still soaring in the sky,
Still bravely singing, soaring high
Away above the cannon’s roar,
Scarce heard amid the guns as yore,
Before you slept in Flanders Fields
The faith with you we’ve kept and battled with the foe
On crimson fields by you we’ve slept where poppies blow
The torch you flung to us we caught,
With blistering hands we’ve bravely fought to hold it high
To guard you thru the Night,
And at the dawn to guide you to the light,
When you awake from Flanders Fields.
A pause—Officer of the day then commands “Hand Salute “Everybody in room comes to snappy salute as bugler sounds taps.
Officer of Day: Comrade in the silent land, in death as in life, we salute you. Spotlight off at this point.
Departed comrade fades away behind grave. Salute holds a few seconds, then officer of the day commands, “TWO.”
Another pause and then officer of the day in subdued tones orders new comrades “Forward March.”
Lights turned on Commander seats Post with one rap of gavel.
In path between the chaplain and the senior vice-commanders station, a comrade with arm in sling and head bandaged will be seeking alms. The officer of the day will not notice him until the comrades have passed him.
Officer of Day: Halt! Comrades, we have already forgotten our obligation. Yonder lies a needy comrade. Let us return and see what assistance we may render.
Faces recruits so they can see disabled comrade.
Officer of Day: My good comrade, what seek you?
Wounded Comrade: Comrade, even as you, I have served well my country and flag, but I have been left alone to die by the wayside, because unsympathetic and untried men can make no use of me, I being sick and wounded, and unable to help them in their selfish pursuits.
Officer of Day: Where and with what organization did you serve?
Wounded Comrade: In … name country with the … name unit. I am a VFW member.
Officer of Day: A veteran and in want! This is outrageous!
Officer of Day: Arise, comrade, come with us and we will serve your needs, for that is our prime duty. Let us proceed.
Gives necessary commands.
Officer of Day: Comrade Senior Vice-Commander, I present to you these worthy new comrades, whom I have escorted along the emblematic path of comradeship. They have a needy comrade for your care.
Senior Vice-Commander, extends right hand of comradeship to needy comrade: Be seated at my right and I will see that you are taken care of by our relief committee.
Senior vice-commander then addresses candidates:
Senior Vice-Commander: Comrades, you have indeed proved yourselves worthy, and I shall take pleasure in instructing you in the unwritten work of this order.
On approaching the door of the Post meeting room, you will give two knocks to attract the attention of the guard who will challenge, “Who knocks here?” You will answer giving your name and the number of the Post to which you belong. The guard will then report you to the senior vicecommander, who will order him toadmit you if proper. The guard will then open the door. You will show him your membership card. If you have an official dues receipt card for the current calendar year you will be admitted to the Post room, where you will advance to the altar and salute the commander, thus military salute. Should the commander be busy you will face about and salute the senior vice-commander.
This will be answered by the commander or senior vice-commander, thus military salute, after which you will be seated.
Never cross between the altar and the commander’s station during business sessions unless directed by an officer on duty. This space represents the sacred ground where our comrades who have answered the final roil call are at rest.
Wishing to retire while the Post is in session, you will advance to the altar and use the same sign as when entering, to the commander or senior vicecommander and when answered you may retire.
This concludes the unwritten work of the order.
With my best wishes for your future welfare, I now commend you to the care of the iunior vice-commander.
Officer of the Day, you will guide the comrades to the junior vice-commander for further instructions.
Officer of Day, salutes: Comrade Junior Vice-Commander, by direction of the senior vice-commander, I present these comrades for further instruction.
Junior Vice-Commander, returns salute: My comrades. Ours is a great work, lasting through life, for just as long as there is a soldier, sailor, marine or airman,so long must our work continue. As members of this Post we shall expect you to do your share. To care for comrades in distress, and those who depend upon them, is part of the work of this order, and when death shall lay its cold hand upon any one of our number, it is our duty to see that he is laid in the bosom of Mother Earth with the honors of war, if possible.
We also owe a duty to our order and our comrades at all times. Therefore, we caution you to be careful in your conduct, even when surrounded by those you may believe to be your friends. For the friend of today may prove the enemy of tomorrow.
Therefore, do or say nothing that may be used against you, or our noble order.
When the breath of scandal touches the character of a comrade, many are ready to condemn, and to accept a bare statement as proof of guilt.
Be not too hasty in dealing with the weakness of a comrade. Neither think nor speak ill of any until you have exercised the prudence of a true soldier. The lives of many have been blasted by thoughtless and unkind words.
Therefore, be very cautious in your conversation, prudent in your conduct and charitable in your judgment, remembering always, the obligation you have taken here at our altar.
Remember every obligation of life, be true to yourself, your home and your loved ones, and these comrades will ever be your strong defenders.
Officer of the Day, you will guide the comrades to the altar in order that they may be decorated with the beautiful Cross of Malta.
Immediately after the officer of the day gives the order “Right-face, Forward-march,” then sentry will challenge.
Sentry: Halt! Who is here?
Officer of Day: Officer of the day, with comrades.
Sentry: Advance.
Officer of the day advances comrades to the altar by way of commander and chaplain stations.
At altar.
Officer of Day: Comrade Commander, by direction of the junior vice-commander, I present these comrades for presentation of insigne.
Commander calls up entire Post. Two raps.
Officer of Day: Comrades, you will salute the commander.
Officer of the day and new comrades only salute. Commander returns salute.
Commander: Officers, take your stations for presentation of insigne.
Officers take their stations.
Presentation of Insigne
Commander takes station slightly in advance of senior and,unior vice-commanders, facing the altar: My comrade(s), I shall now decorate (each of) you with the Cross of Malta. It is a real foreign service decoration and the official insigne of our beloved order, recognized and protected by the United States Government as such.
The Cross of Malta is a time honored emblem whose foundation comes down to us from the days of the Crusades a thousand years ago. History tells no more fascinating tale than that of the Knights of the Crusades who were inspired purely by unselfish motives to drive the barbarian from the land he had defiled. The Cross of Malta was one of their emblems. And, while they failed after generations of warfare the feat was finally accomplished by our comrades of the World Wars.
Such is the origin of the beautiful emblem selected by the founders of our organization, symbolic of the justice and rectitude which has sent us as crusaders in modern times to foreign shores.
Commander pointing to insigne continues: Radiating out from this cross are the rays of light symbolizing the spread of democracy among the countries of the earth, led by our own great nation. Over al lis superimposed the eagle shield, signifying that we served under the starry banner of the land of liberty. The bald eagle is an American bird and has been our nation’s emblem from the days of the Revolution.
As the circle which contains our name is continuous, so also, is the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States . Commander faces recruits. For so long as there are unjust governments, so long must we maintain our rights. If new wars come, other comrades will carry on where we leave off.
My comrades, the Cross of Malta glorifies the tattered shirt of the poorest working man and beautifies the coat worn by those highest in the land, binding all with that same spirit of comradeship which existed among the veterans of the old crusades.
I trust you will wear it with credit to yourself and honor to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States . Commander holding small Flag of the United States . My comrades, you are also admonished to remember that you and we have a mutual tie which binds us together and that the Flag of the United States is that bond. This flag with its alternating stripes of red and white, this flag with its stars on the field of blue, is your flag, our flag. May brave hearts ever defend it! May it continue to fly in the free air of heaven, the emblem of liberty—the flag of all loyal Americans! in the name of this great order and on behalf of this Post, I shall now present each of you with this our flag.
Commander faces about and gives command, “form the arch of chivalry.” The senior and junior vice-commanders bring up their swords, tips touching and forming the arch Commander again faces the altar standing asnearly under the arch as may be feasible.
Commander: The adjutant will call the roll and as each comrade’s name is called he will advance, receive his decoration and return to his place in line.
As each new comrade approaches and takes his place before the commander he will receive from the commander the VFW lapel insigne and the commander will present each new member with a small Flag of the United States .
After all have received their decorations, the senior and junior vice-commanders will break the arch and take stations at the right and left otthe new comrades.
All other officers return to their regular Post stations Sentry dismissed.
Commander seats Post with one rap. Speaks from his station to new comrades who remain in line
back of altar, facing him: My comrades. You have been admitted to this great order because you have served our country in the face of hazard and danger. But our country deserves your highest devotion at all times, in peace as well as in war.
In this organization you are now privileged to mingle with comrades who have gone to the far lands of the earth when duty called. They, better than any one else, can understand your language as a veteran. Henceforth you are privileged to wear the beautiful Cross of Malta which will distinguish you as a member of America ’s true knighthood, bound together by ties of comradeship formed through a century of campaigning in foreign lands and waters—the golden age of American chivalry into this great fraternitywe now welcome you. Here you will find true comradeship. And so, as you go about your daily duties, I admonish you to cherish the beautiful emblem you are now privileged to wear. Look upon it as an inspiration to noble citizenship.
Treasure it as a symbol of all that is best in our national life, resting assured that if you will practice the principles for which it stands comrades will come to you in the hour of need even as you will go to them when duty calls.
We trust that what you have experienced here will not soon pass from your mind, but that its impression will remain with you through a long and prosperous life.
Comrade, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
May you find pleasure in the comradeship of this great order and help perpetuate the hallowed memories of service so dear to all of us. And now, with my best wishes for your future success, I commend you to your new comrades. Comrades, extend to our new comrade a hearty welcome.
Commander gives two raps of gavel and officers and members file past the newmembers, giving each one a hearty handshake. If feasible there may be music during this greeting. Such songs as “Over There,” “Long, Long Trail,” and “Hot Time in the Old Town ,”are appropriate. During this recess period, the senior and junior vice-commanders relinquish their posts at the right and left of the new comrades and are prepared to resume their stations at the close of the period. It will be their duty to see that places are available tor the new comrades to be seated when the.
Post is called to order. After sufficient time has elapsed, the commander will call the Post to order and regular business will be resumed.
Candidates should retire from the room in company of the officer of the day and work their way into the meeting, as a lesson, being prompted by the officer of the day if necessary.
Closing Ceremonies
Commander: There being no further business, we will have our closing ceremony.
* *, all rise.
Commander: Officer of the Day, prepare to retire the colors.
The officer of day advances to the altar and salutes the commander; then issues the orders to the color detail who are assumed to be in their proper seats.
Officer of Day: Color Bearers!
The color bearers rise and take two steps forward, placing themselves in front of color guards.
Officer of Day: Color Guards!
The color guards rise and take positions back of color bearers.
Officer of Day: Post!
Color detail marches to altar.
Officer of Day: Face!
Detail faces the commander’s station.
Officer of Day: Salute! Two!
Officer of Day: Take Arms!
Officer of Day: Right Face—At Trail—March!
The officer of day remains at the altar; marching detail to position so that they will not have to make an about-face after taking colors.
Commander: Comrade Chaplain, you will deliver the closing prayer.
Chaplain takes position at altar.
Commander: Parade rest!
Chaplain: Almighty God, the hour has come when we must part. We commit ourselves to Thy care Thou, Who art our strong tower of defense and our protection, grant that in life’s battles we may be strong and brave, living such lives of stainless integrity as shall reflect honor upon our country and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and glorify Thy great and Holy Name.
May Thy good providence shield us from all harm, watch over those who even now guard the gates of freedom, and bring us together again in true comradeship and peace. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Commander: Attention!
Chaplain closes Bible.
Officer of the day commands: Colors, right face, at trail, torward march, or; Forward march if color guard is not armed.
Commander: Bugler, sound “To the Colors.”
Post comes to salute at first note of bugler; or as flags are retired, resuming position of attention without command at conclusion of the call.
Commander: We will sing our national anthem.
Oh, say can you see, by the damn’a early light
What so proudlyme hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous tight,
O’er the ramparts me matched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there
Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet muse.
O’er the land of the tree and the home of the brave?
Commander: Comrades, I now declare this business session of … Post No. … closed. Our next regular meeting will be ….
The officer of the day collects all Rituals, Bible, altar flag, etc.