The American Legion is in New York. Five hundred thousand jostling uniforms take possession of midtown Gotham. Traffic comes to a standstill. False alarms are turned in from a score of fire boxes. Signs are torn from trolley cars. Police confiscate revolvers, even a one-pound cannon. Two legionnaires die unknown and violent deaths. Soon there will be interminable military music, and for 18 1-2 hours the conquerors of New York are marching up Fifth Avenue.
They're here. Newspaper readers outside the city read about the impressive display with thrills of patriotic pride. New York merchants and hostel keepers warm to an inflow of money. Seven million New York civilians, now living in a state of joyous excitement, will be glad when the invaders go, for military shows are still so rare in this country as to be terrifying.
Then they are gone. For another year middle aged men will be saving their dollars for the annual blow out. They fought two wars, for the Star spangled banner and for the boius; in all truth they are entitled to some fun. A half a million marchers, a half a million upstretched arms, or, if you will, a half a million votes where they will do the most good.
The American Legion is one of the strongest factors in American politics. It is the most powerful of the militantly military influences on contemporary American opinion. Americans might wish not to have it; yet Americans can thank their lucky stars that they have it, can be grateful that the United States' most highly organized mob is comprised of men who have both already fought in action and who are approaching the age of ineligibility. Americans can be thankful that the Fascist marching spirit hasn't swept her young men off their feet--yet.