The sun was shining upon Huntington as the community came together to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Flag in 1777. A ceremony coordinated by the Huntington Elks Lodge 1565 in conjunction with the Town of Huntington was held at Huntington Veterans Plaza located outside of Town Hall.
Huntington’s Veterans Plaza is a unique and respectful location which honors and pays respect to town residents who have served in various branches of the military.
“At our town hall, the American flag stands tall, so we could not be more proud to host this event with the Huntington Elks Lodge and celebrate the symbol of our freedom,” said Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci.
Members of Huntington’s own Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps along with scouts from Boy Scout Troop 106 and Cub Scout Pack 66 assisted with the presentation of flags during the ceremony. A special rendition of the National Anthem was performed by the Sunrisers Trumpet Trio.
“The American Flag signifies freedom, liberty and the greatness of this country we love,” Huntington Elks Exalted Ruler, Alyssa Nightingale said. “More than a representation of our nation, the American Flag has become the universal symbol of liberty and freedom throughout the world.”
Among many dignitaries in attendance were NY State Senator Jim Gaughran, Assemblyman Steve Stern, Huntington Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman, Huntington Deputy Clerk Stacy Colamussi, Rev. Larry D. Jennings from the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Huntington Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair Vita Scaturro.
“Our American flag represents everything that we as Americans hold dear – our freedom, peace, security, liberty, our friends and our family,” Gaughran said. “It was humbling to join the Town of Huntington in recognition of Flag Day as we honored our flag in front of the Town of Huntington’s WWII Veterans Wall of Honor where my father’s name is engraved.”
Flag Day, officially designated on June 14, marks when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution announcing the stars and stripes design of the flag. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the first and only fraternal body to require formal observance of “Flag Day.” In July 1908 the Elks Grand Lodge required by resolution that June 14 be designated as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge required mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, and that requirement continues to this day.
The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order's observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression. But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for the symbol of our country.
This year’s ceremony was extra special for the Huntington Elks Lodge as it marks the organization’s 90th anniversary which in turn, means 90 years of celebrating our American Flag.
“Having the opportunity to pay homage to the Stars and Stripes each year for 90 years further reiterates our Lodge’s consistent support of initiatives to engage our community’s patriotism in America,” Nightingale said.