Elks unfurl public Flag Day ceremony

June 8, 2005

The Hood River Elks Lodge is staging its first public Flag Day celebration on Sunday in Jackson Park.

“This is going to be a red, white and blue patriotic event that is typical of an old-fashioned Fourth of July barbecue,” said organizer Keith Doroski.

He said the ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. with a lesson on the evolution of the flag’s design by area Boy Scout troops. Elks leaders will then demonstrate their annual ritual to show respect for the nation’s colors. Following the pageantry, Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett, will present information how the flag inspires as a symbol of freedom, liberty and unity. To underscore that message, a huge battalion flag donated by the Hood River Armory will be suspended between two Pacific Power and Light boom trucks as the official backdrop.

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., could not be present but has dedicated a flag flown over the nation’s capital to veterans in the war on terrorism.

Once the official ceremonies have been completed, the band Gunshy takes center stage to entertain with a variety of music. Elks members will serve hot dogs and hamburgers and all proceeds will be donated toward the service organization’s veterans programs.

Doroski invites parents to bring their children to the park on 13th Street for a civics lesson. He said not only is Flag Day an opportunity to provide younger Americans with valuable education, they can also enjoy some quality social time together.

“This is just going to be good wholesome fun. Let’s all bring the lawn chairs and have a great day in the park,” he said.

American Legion Post 22 members will collect old flags at the park and retire them at a formal disposal ceremony on June 14.

In 1907, Grand Exalted Ruler Henry Melvin recommended that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) pay respect to the flag each year. That suggestion was adopted by the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia and June 14 of that year was designated as Flag Day. Forty-seven years later, the Elks convinced Congress to recognize the flag and in 1954 President Harry Truman, also an Elks member, signed Flag Day into law.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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