Flag Day ceremony celebratory, educational

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flags were flying across the country Monday and those in attendance at a local commemoration of the 93rd annual Flag Day know a little more about why.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of Ironton Lodge No. 177 commemorated the day with a service honoring the American flag on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Sherman-Thompson Towers in Ironton.

According to Scott Crabtree, Past Exalted Royal and Loyal Knight, a Flag Day ceremony is something the Elks have done since the beginning of the organization.

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“In 1911, the Elks Grand Lodge made it a requirement,” Crabtree said.

The ceremony consisted of the Presentation of Colors by the American Legion Post 433, followed by the “Star-Spangled Banner,” sung by Chris Laber. Commander Jim Volgares of American Legion Post 433 was the speaker for the service and gave a detailed history of Flag Day and of the flag itself.

Volgares educated the crowd of about 50 people with history and explanations of such protocol as why guns are carried by soldiers on the outside of the flags in a parade. He said this is to represent protecting the flags at all costs.

Crabtree said remembering the flag is remembering the sacrifices given for us to be free.

“When we had 9/11, everybody had flags going,” Crabtree said. “It’s more important now than ever.”

Carla Battise, 54, a resident of Sherman-Thompson Towers, said she thought the service went well, and she learned some new things.

“I learned what Flag Day means,” Battise said.

Jo Ellen Chapman, 55, another resident, said she also learned things, and was happy with how the service turned out.

“I thought it went really well,” Chapman said.

Carla Massie, 47, another resident in attendance, said she learned more about how we should feel about the flag.

“We are supposed to honor it,” Massie said. “It went great.”