The renaming ceremony of American Legion Post 283 on La Cruz Drive in Pacific Palisades to the Ronald Reagan Palisades Post 283 was a 15-year process.
The idea came from former Post 283 Commander Eric Measles who served in Pacific Palisades in 1988-1989.
He remembers looking at photos on the walls in the Legion and seeing one of President Ronald Reagan wearing a Legion 283 “cover” hat. Measles thought it was unique that a past president of the United States was a local Legion member.
Measles, who also served as a District Commander before relocating to the northern part of the state, is now the American Legion chairman of the National Veterans Education, Other Benefits & Homelessness Committee.
He asked other legion members, “how come we are not naming this post after the President?”
He said for a time there didn’t seem to be support from members, so the idea of a name change stalled.
But Measles persisted. When new commanders were installed, he would ask them the same question. Finally, with Commanders Scott Wagenseller and Jere Romano, the idea gained traction.
In Romano’s second term, he told Measles to see what it might take to rename the Post.
Before the Reagan name is used, approval must come from the family. Measles reached out to Reagan’s son Mike and his daughter Ashley, who sent him to the Reagan Foundation for approval.
“It was favorable, and I was excited,” Measles said.
The next step was convincing Post 283 to make a name change. Measles wrote a resolution, legionnaires voted on the name change, and it passed overwhelmingly.
After the resolution passed on the Post level, Measles then had to take the name change idea to Department (state) to receive approval. Once that was accomplished, it had to go to the National level.
Although official approval was given by the Reagans, and the State and National American Legion organizations, the naming ceremony was delayed.
“The timing was bad,” Measles said. Covid hit, and then the long-planned renovation of the Post delayed ceremonies.
But yesterday (January 28) at a renaming ceremony, Measles was proud. “The naming had been accomplished – it was overwhelming,” he said. “I was so happy that I was almost at the point of tears.
“It was an outstanding event, and the turnout was incredible,” Measles said. “If I have no other legacy, I’m thrilled that I got this done.”