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IMAGE GALLERY: Elks Celebrate Centennial, Flag Day [VIDEO]

Over the weekend, the Framingham Elks celebrated its 100th anniversary and encouraged the community to celebrate Flag Day.

On Saturday, the

The Framingham Girl Scouts were invited to participate in the opening ceremonies, including Scout Amanda Wade singing the national anthem. A group of Scouts led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance. The Elks recently donated to the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary fund, to help defray the cost of about 10% of the Framingham Scouts to attend the 100th celebration of Girl Scouts in Washington DC.

Below is the text of the speech given by President Jerry Blanchette.

Welcome and thank you for coming out today to help us celebrate both flag day and the 100th anniversary of the Framingham Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

Did you know that the national Flag Day Bill was signed in 1949 by President Harry S. Truman, who was an Elk?

The Elks have adopted the American flag as emblematic of the cardinal principle of our order - charity.

The flag of our country is first in our hearts as loyal Americans and stands by our alter here in our lodge as loyal elks. The gentle breezes with lingering caresses kiss the folds of no flag which can compare with it in beauty.

There is no such red in budding rose, in falling leaf or sparkling wine; no such white in April blossom, in crescent moon or mountain snow; no such blue in women's eye,in ocean's depth of heaven's dome and no such pageantry of clustering stars and streaming light in all the spectrum of sea and sky.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the first and only fraternal organization to require observance of Flag Day.

The Framingham Lodge of Elks has always participated in and has been a major supported of Flag Day events in Framingham.

We were in the 1946 Flag Day dedication of the 2 rosters of WWII veterans (which used to flan the entrance to the )  we performed in many flag day paraded and we performed at the Bowditch Field Framingham Celebrates Flag Day back in 1986.

As we have seen over the years honoring Flag Day here in Framingham has almost disappeared.

I would like to thank those who have come out today to help us celebrate our 100th anniversary, but most importantly; Honoring our Flag.

The Framingham Elks would like to make a pledge to the Town of Framingham "As long as there is a Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Framingham, there will always be a Flag Day Celebration in Framingham."

Remember after 9/11, the American Flag was displayed throughout this great land to show our love of this country and our flag. This display of our flag on many homes and businesses should never diminish or fade away. I encourage you to display the American Flag on your home or office.

When you see our Flag coming down the street in a parade, stand tall and Salute It with Pride and Honor. When you salute our flag, do it with respect and honor for all the service men and women who gave some; and those that have given all. We honor those that continued to serve Our Country and protect our Flag and the very freedom for which it stands.

When you pledge allegiance to our flag, be proud and be loud.

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