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Auxiliary passes the gavel in Natoma

Special to The Hays Daily News

NATOMA -- Passing the gavel is an integral part of the induction ceremony within the American Legion Auxiliary organization. The gavel continues to be a symbol of the authority and right to act officially during auxiliary meetings.

The traditional passing took place during the Sept. 16 induction of newly elected officers for Natoma Unit 109. The new leadership will continue active roles for a full year of events and projects, including the Nov. 8 Veterans Day Salute. Laah Tucker, antecedent president, passed the gavel to Mary Murphy, president for 2013-14. Prior to the induction, a solemn ceremony honored two auxiliary members with the draping in black of their charter in memory of Anita Foster, active for 62 years, and Ethel John, a member for 46 years.

Each year, elected officers and members take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States; to foster Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of the Great Wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation; to promote peace and goodwill; to transmit the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; and to contribute to the accomplishment of the purposes of the American Legion by serving veterans, service men and women, and youth throughout the nation. Since 1919 millions of women across America have passionately volunteered countless time, talents and finances as they lived out the American Legion Auxiliary motto of "serving others, not self."