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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 it's earliest days it has been committed to charitable aims. Membership initially by invitation for members of the American Legion who have shown exemplary service. All Forty & Eight 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 Forty & Eight’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 forty men or eight 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.
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. Monroe County's Voiture 111 was chartered in 1920 and is one of only 37 Voitures in New York State. It is currently second in the state as far as membership which is a testament to our veterans helping veterans in this area.
For more online information on the 40 & 8 visit http://www.fortyandeight.org/