American Legion North Las Vegas Post 51

      On a cold night in January of 1966, citizens of Las Vegas met at Owens and Las Vegas Blvd.  Veterans, families, and supporting citizens filled the streets as they marched along the Boulevard to Lake Mead Blvd to their final destination of City Hall.

     The “Torches for Freedom” march, which had been planned in the previous months, began the night of January 10th.  The American Legion North Las Vegas Post 51, led by Commander Robert Bradley, was followed by other Legion members, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047, North Las Vegas Boy Scouts, and other patriotic groups armed with torches and “Freedom” placards.  An estimated five hundred marched to City Hall while hundreds more lined the sidewalks and awaited the arrival of the march at City Hall with Mayor William Taylor.

     The “Torches for Freedom” March was a public show of veteran support for the men and women serving abroad and the American involvement in the Vietnam War.  “The Legion march stresses a veterans’ campaign ‘To defeat the peddlers of pessimism who blindly accept the fraudulent fear that the extermination of the human race is inevitable.”

     The march was a huge success as the veterans and various other groups were welcomed with applause and standing ovation during the march and at City Hall.  Some stood in protest along the sidewalks of the march but were reportedly “doused” with water with “no explanation was given for the dampening.”

     The “Torches for Freedom” was an absolutely proud moment for the men and women of Post 51 along with all the other veterans and supporters.  A quote from post commander Robert Bradley that I have personally adopted as my motto:  “As veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, we know full well the cost of peace and of having a free country, and we mutually pledge our individual support in keeping our country free from communism and its related dictatorial rule today and throughout eternity.”


Las Vegas Sun, 1966.

North Las Vegas Valley Times, 1965-1966.

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