American Legion Bars Close As Membership Drops
BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - American Legion bars across Minnesota are closing as membership in the veteran organizations has dropped.
The latest bar to close is Post No. 14 in Bemidji, which shut down for good with the new year. Post commander Bob Aitken says shrinking membership - and fewer drinkers - made it impossible to stay open.
The Bemidji club isn't alone. Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan tours aren't signing up like their elders who served in Vietnam and Korea.
Statewide, Legion membership has dropped from 127,000 to 83,000 in the last two decades.
Minnesota American Legion spokesman Al Zdon guesses 100 Legion bars have closed in the last 10 years.