Exalted Ruler Mark Andersen. (Contributed)

Elks celebrate Flag Day in Stevens Point

For the Metro Wire

The Stevens Point Elks Lodge 641 celebrated Flag Day on Thursday, with help from local officials.

Exalted Ruler Mark Andersen served as master of ceremonies for the ceremony. State Senator Patrick Testin, Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland, Portage Co. Veterans Services Officer Mike Clemens and Police Chief Dan Ault all spoke briefly.

Mayor Mike Wiza and several members from the Stevens Point Fire Dept. were also present.

American Legion Auxiliary Berens-Scribner Unit 6 provided the 21-gun salute and flag-folding display. Following the ceremony, attendees were treated to free dinner and beverages.

Patriotism has characterized the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America since the early days of the organization. Allegiance to the American flag is a requirement of every member.

In 1907, the BPO Elks Grand Lodge designated June 14 as Flag Day, making it mandatory for every lodge across the nation to observe the occasion. President Harry Truman would later proclaim the national observance of Flag Day in 1949.

For more information on the Elks Lodge 641, go to http://elks641.com.