Observances for Flag Day are rich in history with many civic groups paying honor to the Stars and Stripes.
How did Flag Day become a national observance?
A resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress adopted the United States’ flag on June 14, 1777, but it wasn’t until President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day in 1916, the year before the United States entered World War I. Congress officially established the day in 1949 during Harry S. Truman’s presidency
Locally, Fallon Elks Lodge BPOE 2239 conducted Flag Day observances at the new William N. Pennington Life Center, which is the county’s new senior center.
Mayor Ken Tedford offered a few words to about 90 people in attendance and thanked the Elks Club for presenting the ceremony and for their many years of dedication to Fallon and Churchill County. Tedford said the Elks Flag Day ceremony is a “wonderful thing to see for our country,” and he was happy to see the ceremony done at the new William N. Pennington Life Center.
Tedford said the flag and its symbolism allow Americans to enjoy freedom, something that does not occur in many other countries.
“How proud I am to be an American and to live in the best state in the country and live in the greatest city in that state,” he said.
The center’s executive director, Lisa Erquiaga, said Flag Day was a special event at the center. For a year, her husband’s uncle had asked her about installing a flagpole and to have this year’s Flag Day ceremony at the center. Erquiaga said it was perfect timing for Flag Day observances since the new center has its official opening next week.
Erquiaga said she contacted the Elks about conducting a ceremony. Kris Berlin, exalted ruler of the Fallon Elks, said the ceremony honors the United States and what it represent. Berlin and other speakers from the Elks gave a history of Flag Day and its symbolism. A historical evolution of the various flags used since the Revolutionary War in the United States was explained as Boys Scouts from Troop 1776 placed each flag in a holder.
Other speakers gave an historical account of how the flag became a symbol of freedom when troops fought in foreign lands from the Korean War to most recently Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many residents attending the ceremony waved small, hand-held flags, and near the end of the observance, they sung “God Bless America” and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
As one speaker said, since the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, many citizens have rekindled the spirit for the U.S. flag.
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