Interest in service, social groups is dwindling

Over the weekend, Belpre’s American Legion Blennerhassett Post 495 announced it will close its doors. The announcement came at a dinner the organization hosted to thank those who have supported the post over the past 86 years.

Despite that support, the population and its attitude toward organizations such as the American Legion are changing; and this past summer, the Post Executive Board asked its membership to vote. The majority voted in favor of closure, with the process set to be finalized early next year.

“I think it’s sad. Part of our city are aging,” said Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz.

Young people simply do not interact with their peers and their community the way previous generations did. While technology and other societal changes certainly make that understandable, it is a bit of a shame.

We see the results of a breakdown of community –an increased sense of isolation, no matter how much we fool ourselves into believing we are “connected” because of technology — in many of today’s societal challenges.

And speaking of the younger generation, the demise of Post 495 will mean Boy Scout Troop 13 must find a new sponsor and meeting location. Surely some other group will step up to help them.

Meanwhile, we share Lorentz’s hope that one day, interest in groups such as the American Legion will return, and perhaps one day the post can be reorganized and reopened.

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