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WAKEFIELDâ€”Flag Day has often been an overlooked side note to the solemn celebrations of Memorial Day and D-Day, yet it still serves as a reminder to the country of the sacrifices of past and present citizens which have made the United States so great. Numerous events will be held this weekend to commemorate the Stars and Stripes.
The first official flag of the United States was adopted in 1777 by the Continental Congress during the tumult and battles of the Revolutionary War. The flag carried thirteen stars then, symbolizing the thirteen original colonies. Today, the United States flag has become the starkest symbol of American patriotism.
Flag Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 as a day of remembrance, but it was not until 1949 under the administration of Harry S. Truman that Congress officially declared it a holiday on June 14. In both instances, the Order of Elks of the United States of America was a prime mover in making Flag Day a reality.
South Kingstown Elks Lodge #1899 holds the torch for Flag Day celebrations here in South County as do other lodges across the country. This year, the Elks have donated flags to numerous businesses along Main Street in Wakefield. The Elks Lodge will also hold their 104th annual ceremony to celebrate Flag Day this Sunday, June 12.
â€śFlag Day is so important because it represents our country, veterans, and our troops now serving our country,â€ť said Fred Pearce, an officer at the South Kingstown Elks Lodge, #1899. â€śAs a former member of the Marine Corps, I am so proud of the flag and we will defend it to the end.â€ť
Fire and Police units from South Kingstown will gather at the Elks Lodge at 60 Belmont Avenue in Wakefield, and officials from the State House will also speak. The ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. with food and refreshments to follow.
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