Rayson-Miller Post 899, 21 N. Main St., Pittsford, will mark its 100th anniversary on March 26. To celebrate, the Post will hold an open house with guest speakers on March 28.
The Post was named for Homer Rayson and Henry Miller, two Pittsford soldiers who died during World War I in France.
Rayson was born in 1892 and was a surviving member of the Lost Battalion during the Meuse-Argonne campaign in October 1918. At age 26, he was killed by a German shell and is interred in France. Miller, who was born in 1895, was killed in the Battle at Belleau Wood in June 1918 at 23 years old. His body was re-interred in 1921 with military ceremonies in Pittsford Cemetery.
In 1920, returning WWI veterans Lloyd Allen, Howard Bacon, James Crawford, John Doane, Stanley Gilmore, Dick Krieger, George Loughborough, Harry Naber, Jack Palmer, William Rossiter, George Schreib, Russel Smith, Harland Spiegel, Raymond Steve and William Stockman obtained the charter for Post 899.
Members participate in the Memorial Day parades, hold ceremonies at Pittsford Cemetery and host receptions; conduct Veterans Day ceremonies and receptions; and participate in festivals every June and September, as well as Candlelight Night during the Christmas season.
Proceeds from the poppies sold before Memorial Day support veterans in some way, previously benefiting Honor Flight of Rochester, Patriot Guard Riders of New York’s Help on the Homefront and Lap Robes for Veterans.
Other donations are used for sick call visits to veterans and special requests of assistance. Members visit veterans at the Canandaigua VA Hospital and other shut-ins, help the Women’s Club of Pittsford with Wreaths Across America at the Pittsford Veterans Memorial, and offer honor and color guard services when requested.
The American Legion founded Boys State in 1935. Post 899 annually sends high school juniors to participate in legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs. In most cases, the Post pays for the students’ expenses.
The Post also charters Boy Scout Troop 129 and works with Boy Scout Troop 341.
The American Legion Baseball League started in 1925, with the Rayson-Miller team joining the league in District 7 in 1973. The team consists of local high school players ages 13-19. Tom Sapienza has been the team manager and coach since its inception. In 2019, Rayson-Miller inducted the first member to its Baseball Hall of Fame: Danny Mendick.
Toni Stevens-Oliver from Thornell Road Elementary School asked Post Cmdr. Al Herdklotz to speak to her fourth grade class about Veterans Day in 2013. After his talk, Herdklotz spoke with Principal Roger Debell about returning in the spring. This relationship grew to include students interviewing veterans, Post tours and classroom presentations.
Teens for Veterans was established in 2017 when founder Isabella He started organizing and archiving historical materials collected by Post 899 over the years. She then invited her fellow high schoolers to the help Post on various occasions, including the Memorial Day ceremony, Fourth of July hot dog stand and guitar raffle, and Pittsford’s Food Truck Rodeo and Music Fest, along with Candlelight Night and a holiday performance for veterans at the VA Hospital.
Email raysonmiller899@gmail.com or visit raysonmillerpost899.org for information.