Flag Day on June 14th was celebrated by the Newark Elks Lodge #1249 with a parade, ceremony in the park and a buffet for the participants.
The VFW Color Guard led the procession down Main Street and was directly followed by the Newark High School Band. Cheers arose as the Garrison Flag, carried by the Elks, was hoisted over Main Street by the Fire Department and Empire Tree Surgeon. Girl Scout Troop #63, Boy Scout Troop #122, V Crew #3483, Newark Fire Department, the Red Cross and Ambulance Crew marched to Central Park where a Flag Day Ceremony, arranged by Lodge Esteemed Loyal Knight, Anne Rease, commenced with Invocation by Lodge Chaplain, Diana Tormey.
Exalted Ruler, Brad Whittaker, did a special rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance and the First United Methodist Choir, under the direction of Barbara Seppeler, performed four selections including; We Are Marching in the Light of God, Battle Hymn of the Republic, America the Beautiful and God Bless America.
Rease then introduced Guest Speaker, Mayor Peter Blandino, who detailed how Flag Day was first suggested to the Order of the Elks by the Grand Exalted Ruler at the 1908 Grand Lodge Session in Dallas. This is when June 14th was selected to become ‘Elks Flag Day’. The Mayor went on to state that, finally in 1949, President Truman signed into law the designation of June 14th as ‘Flag Day for our Country’.
Mayor Blandino thanked the Newark Elks by stating. “The Elks continue the tradition and recognition of Flag Day by carrying and displaying the Garrison Flag at many events in our community in which they exhibit the pride and honor that is shared by all.”
The ceremony concluded with Taps and Benediction.
All participants were then welcomed to a buffet prepared by Lodge Steward, Matthew DeJohn.
For further information about the charitable activities and various youth and veteran groups supported by the Elks, call 331-1249 or visit elks.org.