Local law enforcement agents, dignitaries and citizens gathered Tuesday night at the Ridgway Elks Lodge No. 872 B.P.O.E. for a 45-minute Flag Day ceremony featuring several speakers, including Paul "Ted" Bullers, Mamie Mader and the Honorable Richard Masson, President Judge of Elk County.
"The purpose of the service is to honor our country's flag and to celebrate the anniversary of its birth," Bullers said. "It is quite appropriate that this service should be held by the Order of Elks, an organization that is distinctly American and intensely patriotic."
The history of the flag was discussed and members of the local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops displayed several flags through the ceremony.
"Our flag is a declaration representing the American nation as it was at its birth-- it speaks for what it is today, and it holds the opportunities for the future to allow other stars to the glorious constellation," Bullers said. "The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the first and only fraternal body to require formal observation of Flag Day.
"The Order is distinctly American-- only an American citizen is eligible to join and it has no foreign affiliation. It is linked to destiny, the destiny of our country and makes this flag a symbol of self-dedication to God, country and fellow men."
Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, June 15, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.