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The Forty & Eight, La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, was formed in 1920 by American Legionnaires as an honor society and from its earliest days it has been committed to charitable aims. Membership was initially by invitation for members of the American Legion who have shown exemplary service. All 40 & 8 members are thus Veterans of congressionally recognized wartime periods via their Legion membership. It has since updated their by laws to reflect all veterans honorably discharged from our Armed Forces are eligible for induction & membership regardless of fraternal affiliation or lack thereof.
The 40 & 8’s titles and symbols reflect it's First World War origins. American servicemen in France were transported to the battle front on narrow gauge French railroads (Chemin de Fer) inside boxcars (Voitures) that were half the size of American boxcars. Each French boxcar was stenciled with a “40/8”, denoting its capacity to hold either 40 men or 8 horses. This ignominious and uncomfortable mode of transportation was familiar to all who traveled from the coast to the trenches; a common small misery among American soldiers who thereafter found “40/8” a lighthearted symbol of the deeper service, sacrifice and unspoken horrors of war that truly bind those who have borne the battle.
Monroe County's Voiture 111 was chartered in 1920 and is one of only 37 Voitures in New York State. It is currently second largest in New York State, which is a testament to our veterans helping veterans in Monroe County. We are the only Voiture in New York State to have its own Chateau (Post Home). If you know of a veteran who has performed over & above in serving our veterans, please don't hesitate to nominate them to be inducted into the "40&8", the American Veteran Honor Society.
For more online information on the 40 & 8 visit http://www.fortyandeight.org/ . Please leave a message for Don Sisson at 585-352-6691, if you are interested (or know of a veteran that is deserving of this recognition).