LEWISTON — The Lewiston Elks Lodge 371 held its annual Flag Day services on June 14. More than one hundred people attended the event, including veteran groups, firefighters, Civil Air Patrol, Cub Scouts and several area government officials. The services marked the 232nd anniversary of the adoption of the stars and stripes.
The event began with a welcome by Exalted Ruler Michael Aube of Auburn and introductory exercises were conducted by the officers of the Lodge.
Following the opening ceremonies, a history of the flag was read by Past Exalted Ruler Wayne Cotterly of Poland Spring. Cotterly described each of the nation’s historic flags as they were presented by members of Cub Scout Pack 187 and the Civil Air Patrol.
The current American flag was presented alongside the POW/MIA flag, and was escorted by the color guard of the Lewiston Fire Department. A response followed, given by Lodge Inner Guard Belinda Ashworth of Lewiston, noting the sacrifices made by the men and women of the nation’s armed services and emergency response personnel.
Several presentations were made by government officials and representatives. Letters were read by field representatives of Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as from U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree. The letters expressed the significance of Flag Day, and reminded attendants of the sacrifices made by past and present military personnel.
Lewiston Mayor Laurent Gilbert and Auburn Mayor John Jenkins also spoke about the importance of celebrating the birth of the nation’s flag and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Several flags were presented for retirement and a new POW/MIA flag was raised at the front of the lodge by members of the Vietnam Veterans of the USA. The Vietnam veterans concluded the event with a “missing man” ceremony, during which a dinner table was set with several items, providing symbolic remembrance of those who remain missing in action.
For more information on the event or other Elk programs, visit www.elks.org, www.maineelks.org or contact the lodge at 784-4801.


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