VISTA CA – This past Sunday, June 11, 2016, The Vista Elks Lodge #1968, honored the Nations Flag and also performed the duty of every Elks lodge across the country since 1911 as they held a special Flag Day Celebration. Lodge members and guests assembled for a heart-warming and very patriotic ceremony.
Exalted Ruler James Leitholf started it off by leading in singing “The Star Spangled banner”.
This was followed by an invocation. Next each of the three Lodge Knights spoke of the inspiring qualities of our flag such as “Freedom”, “Symbol of fidelity”, “Justice for All”, and “Love of Brother and Country”. Exalted Ruler James Leitholf related the long history of our nation’s flag from inception to current day.
Vista High School U. S. Air Force Jr. ROTC members, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Mika Gutierrez, Cadet Senior Airman Malyn Gutierrez, and Cadet Senior Airman Jose Carteno were very sharp as they presented the colors. It was more than the normal presentation of colors.
Flags from the original Pine Tree flag and continuing with each evolution of the flag were brought forward and placed in holders, and saluted with drill like precision. Each flag was described in detail and when the final flag, The “Fifty Star Flag” was in place, it was time for the Pledge Allegiance. The pledge was soundly uttered by the patriotically stirred up assembly.
Osborne and Retired Sergeant Major Tim Soboleski, The Lodge Tiler, gave a powerful explanation of Flag Day telling his audience how some people celebrate the Holiday and how it SHOULD be celebrated.
The “Response” was presented by The Lodge Leading Knight and Retired U.S. Marine Colonel Glenn Osborne.
When the ceremony ended, no one rushed from the Lodge room as they were standing around commenting on the proceedings, while some stayed to thank Leitholf, Osbone, and Soboleski.
Elk’s love the U.S. Flag and are proud to be Americans. They are also very patriotic and community spirited. They do a lot to make the City and citizens of Vista proud.
Exalted Ruler, James Leitholf
Vista Elks Lodge 1947 E. Vista Way, Vista, CA 92084
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