Veterans of World War I of the
U. S. A.
COMMANDER: For the veterans of World War I we associate ourselves together to continue that fellowship which was ours during the period of a fighting war. This began on April 6, 1917, and ended on November 11, 1918. The latter day shall forever be remembered in our hearts as Armistice Day.
Commander will give three raps of gavel to bring membership to attention.
COMMANDER: The Sergeant-at-Arms will advance the colors.
COMMANDER: The membership will join me in a salute to the Flag of our country, ONE. TWO.
COMMANDER: The Chaplain will offer prayer.
The Buddies will uncover.
CHAPLAIN: Our God and Father, in Heaven, Eternal Commander of us all, by whose mercies we are permitted to meet; we thank Thee for the gifts of life and health; for the blessings of Freedom and Justice; and for the confidence of Thy daily care. Cleanse our hearts, and fill our minds with good thoughts. May our fellowship, and deliberations together here, reflect Thy guidance, and inspire us to unselfish service, and a loyal citizenship pleasing to Thee. In Thy Name. Amen.
COMMANDER: We will recite in unison, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
All members in uniform shall rise, face the Flag, and render a military salute, (the wearing of the official cap, constitutes a full uniform). Others shall stand, face the Flag, with the right hand over the heart.
Commander seats membership with one rap of gavel.
COMMANDER: I now declare Barracks No. … regularly convened.
Initiation of Candidates
COMMANDER: Quartermaster please read the applications – as your names are read, you’ll come to the Altar.
Sergeant-at-Arms, take charge of the new recruits.
Sergeant-at-Arms lines recruits at Altar as they appear. When group is completed, Commander instructs the Sergeant-at-Arms to retire to the ante-room with recruits.
Recruits are placed in position to re-enter hall, shorter ones in front.
COMMANDER: You have heard the reading of the applications, what is your pleasure? Motion made and carried to accept.
COMMANDER: Guard. Retire to the ante-room and conduct the recruits to the Altar for obligation.
GUARD: Buddy Commander, Sergeant-at-Arms with recruits seeks admission.
COMMANDER: Let them enter.
Sergeant-at-Arms re-enters with recruits and places them at the Altar and two paces between the lines. Causes them to salute the Commander, saying: Buddy Commander, the recruits are before the Altar.
COMMANDER: The pledge of the Veterans of World War 1, is: Service to the disabled, the distressed, the widow and dependents. We are forever reminded of our duty to the Nation, and the duty of the Nation to those who defended it in time of peril.
The rehabilitation of those men and women who so bravely offered their all to their country and the relief of those who suffered by that sacrifice is our supreme duty. There is nothing in our By-Laws which will conflict with your personal belief so long as you remain a loyal citizen of our great Republic.
Are you now ready and willing to take the obligation?
Three raps of the gavel brings membership to attention.
The Commander places himself half-way between the Altar and his station
COMMANDER: You will raise your right hand and repeat after me, using your name where I use mine:
I, …, in the presence of the Great Commander, do, of my own free will, promise to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America. To safeguard the principles of our organization. To be a Buddy to our Buddies, their widows and orphans. To maintain law and order and to refrain from associating with or joining any organization that advocates the overthrow of the United States.
Down hands. Commander returns to his station.
COMMANDER: Buddy Chaplain, you will offer prayer.
CHAPLAIN: Parade rest.
CHAPLAIN, from his station: Oh, Heavenly Father, we ask Thy blessing of these, our new Buddies, who now become fellow members. May the ties formed during World War I bind us together in these dedicated principles — in this, our afternoon of life, as the shadows gather, for Thy greater Honor and Glory, Amen.
COMMANDER: Attention. All those except the Sergeant-at-Arms and our new Buddies be seated. One rap of gavel.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Buddies, About Face.
SENIOR VICE COMMANDER, from station: My Buddies, I welcome you into the fellowship of the Veterans of World War I, US.A., an exclusive organization whose potential membership grows lesser day by day, but whose fellowship grows deeper as the years come and go.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Buddies, About Face.
COMMANDER: Buddy Jr. Vice Commander you will make presentations.
Junior Vice Commander leaves his station and stands between new Buddies and Junior Vice Commander’s station and Altar.
JUNIOR VICE COMMANDER: My Buddies, I am about to present you with the emblem of our order. You will note the background forms a shield, denoting protection, which you so nobly gave the Nation during World War I. In the center is the Buddy Poppy — that beautiful flower which decorates the graves of our Buddies in Flanders Fields, who have answered the final roll call that our Nation might live. Our National colors, red, while, and blue are used in the coloring of this beautiful insignia I am privileged to present to you.
Sergeant-at-Arms assists with large class. Jr. V.C. returns to his station, saluting the Commander.
COMMANDER: The space between the Commander’s station and the Altar is symbolic of the Memorial grounds for those of our Buddies who have passed on and should not be crossed, except during ceremonies when directed by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Upon entering or retiring from a Barracks when in session you will approach the Altar, salute the Commander. If he should be engaged, about face and salute the Sr. Vice Commander. Upon being recognized, you will be seated or retire as the case may be.
COMMANDER: Barracks will recess to welcome our new Buddies.
COMMANDER: If there is no other business to come before the meeting, we will proceed to adjourn.
In Flanders Fields
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 faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
COMMANDER: Let us stand in silent reverence in memory of our departed Buddies. (3 raps of gavel.) The Chaplain will offer prayer. The membership will uncover.
CHAPLAIN: May the blessing of the Father rest upon our Buddies; upon their families and loved ones; and in every home where one has gone to report to the Great Commander. God be with us as we separate each from the other, and keep us by His power and His grace. Amen.
COMMANDER: The membership will re-cover.
COMMANDER: We will retire the Flag of our country with a right hand salute. ONE. TWO.
COMMANDER: I now declare this meeting of Barracks No. …, Veterans of World War I of the U.S.A., duly adjourned.