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Editorial: Let's hope Legion can stay active

File Photo: The American Legion Calvin Knuth Post 5 in Worthington will close its doors at the end of this month, but the charter will remain active. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

There has been some wonderful news to report during the last few days, with Monday's stories regarding the generosity of area residents (more than $40,000 raised for Southwest Minnesota Honor Flight; the collection of more than $54,000 for United Way of Nobles County by JBS employees).

There was at least one sad item, however -- the closure of Worthington's Calvin Knuth Post 5 American Legion home and its lounge.

While Post 5 Commander Jim Wolterstorff said the Worthington charter will be retained, the closure of the Oxford Street building is still a disappointment. The reality is declining membership, along with less revenue from charitable gambling and the lounge, is no longer enough to cover expenses, particularly real estate taxes.

Of course, this is by no means a problem exclusive to Worthington. An article in the Nov. 10, 2009, edition of USA Today describes a national trend of struggling VFW and American Legion posts. Among other things, the story speaks of the difficulty in recruiting younger veterans to join.

We hope the Worthington American Legion and other posts throughout the area can remain vital. Most importantly, they have a long history of service to veterans as well as their communities.