A BRIEF HISTORY OF
HARRY LACKHOVE AMERICAN LEGION POST 517, INC MERCERSBURG, PA
The American Legion was initially chartered by Congress on September 16, 1919. On August 20, 1920, sixteen area veterans secured a charter for the American Legion post that they named in honor of Harry F. Lackhove, the first Mercersburg man to make the supreme sacrifice in World War I. Lackhove, at age 25, was killed in the Meuse-Argonne Battle on October 13, 1918. In December 1924, a charter was granted to the Ladies Auxiliary with the express purpose of assisting the post in carrying out their programs of service. In 1944, the Sons of the American Legion was chartered as a post program.
In 1946, the post did purchase a property at 129 N. Main Street and utilized that location as its post home until 1972 when a steel type building was constructed on site on Charlestown Road. A Home Association was established in the 1972 time-frame. In 1996, the post relocated to its current location at 100 Keefer Drive, Mercersburg. A legion picnic grounds continues to be maintained off Charlestown Rd.
In the late 2008, early 2009 time-frame during a casual conversation, Dale "Cookie" Brown suggested a Veterans’ Memorial be placed somewhere in the Mercersburg area. That idea having been presented to then Post Commander, Dale Thatcher; he obtained unanimous approval of the post membership to pursue this endeavor. With Thatcher at the helms of a select committee, he personally sketched out the design and oversaw the planning, including the site selection, financing, procurement, construction, and the ultimate dedication of the Veterans’ Memorial on Veterans’ Day, November 11, 2013, at a cost of some $75,000. Ninety year old Henry Steiger, WWII Veteran, Past Post Commander (1956), and Past Mayor of Mercersburg served as guest speaker at that dedication ceremony. In May 2016, a mountain stone was added to the memorial site. With a bronze plaque procured and engraved with the names of the 13 committee members, that plaque was mounted on the face of the mountain stone. The memorial is located along Keefer Drive and adjacent to the North End Branch of the Orrstown Bank (formerely the First National and First Community Banks of Mercersburg).