CONCORD – In just over a month, American Legion Post 51 will celebrate 100 years in Concord.
With its centennial approaching, on Nov. 20, Post 51 leaders want to honor its extensive history by changing the name of street they reside on to American Legion Drive.
Post 51, one of the longest sitting addresses in Concord, currently owns land along Wilshire Avenue.
Commander Ron Frawley said the street change would be a fitting tribute to members past, present and future.
“The fact that we are 100 years on the same location, in memory of all of the thousands of members who have been here in the last 100 years,” he said.
The next step is to get 80 percent of the homeowners from 21 Wilshire Avenue to 515 Wilshire Avenue to sign a petition.
Frawley said the petition would then need to be taken to the City of Concord Planning & Zoning Commission before appearing in front of Concord City Council.
The commander said troops will start seeking signatures as soon as possible.
Frawley said Post 51 members will go door-to-door along Wilshire Avenue to explain the significance of the name change.
“I have to get the names that go with those house numbers and then we can approach each homeowner and talk about why we are doing this,” Frawley said. “You have to make an eyeball appeal, person-to-person, and acquaint them with why we are doing this.”
Since the street is owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Frawley said state transportation officials will have the final verdict.
“NCDOT approved verbally that name change is fine with them but it has to go back to city to initiate the petition and then back to NCDOT,” Frawley said.
“It will be a permanent memorial to the American Legion in general, and this Post in specific, that the street be named American Legion Drive,” Frawley said. “I think it would be in keeping with the tradition of a little bit of an appreciation to the veterans, past, present and future.”
Frawley said there are more than 14,800 living military veterans in Cabarrus County.