Flag Day events unfurl


News staff writer

June 10, 2006

Hood River service organizations are promoting patriotism by unfurling “Old Glory” at ceremonies next week.

The Elks Lodge hosts the second annual Flag Day celebration June 14 with an All-American Barbecue at Jackson Park. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soda will be served starting at 11 a.m.

At 1 p.m. June 11, the official program begins, including an explanation of Flag Day. and plenty of red, white and blue music. Keith Doroski, organizer, said the event is intended as a civics lesson for youth as well as a social outing.

“Paying respect to the flag is important because of the ideals that it represents,” said Doroski.

On June 15, the American Legion will hold a formal flag disposal ceremony at 6 p.m. The dignified service to retire and burn old flags takes place at the home of Randy Franz, 1807 Markham Road. Anyone with a worn or tattered flag is invited to drop it off at the Legion, 1305 Tucker Road, or the Elks Lodge at the junction of Third and Cascade Streets.

“We are inviting people to come out and learn about the respectful way to dispose of a flag that is no longer usable,” said Legion Commander Denny Leonard.

He said the flag is the symbol of the United States and represents the many freedoms, rights and responsibilities given to citizens. Therefore, it is always important that even an old flag be valued enough for proper treatment.

In 1907, Grand Exalted Ruler Henry Melvin recommended that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks pay tribute 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.

The Legion and Elks recommend that all citizens follow these rules when handling a flag:

* The flag should be hung or flown so it does not touch the ground, water or other objects.

* When displayed on the wall, the blue union should be in the upper left corner.

* Flag patches or pins worn should be worn over the heart.

Leonard said the 12 folds in a flag represent: the symbol of life; belief in eternity; remembrance of departed veterans; trusting God to provide strength in times of peace and war; tribute to America; loyalty to country; tribute to the armed forces for continued protection; honor of mothers; respect for the faith; love, loyalty and devotion that women mold into the character of children; honor of fathers for teaching sons to be defenders; glorification of God; and recognition of the flag as an emblem of God’s presence.

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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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