Our Exalted Ruler, Clayton Huffman’s theme is and was for our ceremony “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”
The flag ritual was presented by Clayton, our Officers and by members, Mary Kate Walker and Paula Belleggie. The historical flags were presented by the Arvada, Central City, Denver, Evergreen, Golden, Idaho Springs, Lakewood, Northglen, Tri-City and Westminster Lodges. Legion Post 2001 presented the American, Colorado & POW/MIA flags, performed the Color Guard and set up the Missing Man/POW/MIA table. The Flag Retirement burning ritual, was performed by the Northglen Lodge Officers and members. Of the over 500 flags collected by the Elk Lodges and by Matt, from his collection boxes, the cotton flags were burned, the ‘other than cotton’ flags will be burned at a mortuary.
We were honored to have, Matt Backer, Eagle Scout as our 1st guest speaker. Jack Jordan, PER (Prior Exalted Ruler), presented Matt with our Citizen of the Year award for his project to collect retired American flags which included a flag that had flown over our State capital. Our 2nd guest speaker was, Sally Hanfelder, Director of the Eastern Colorado Health Care System overseeing the Denver VA Medical Center & Community Based Outpatient Clinics (VA Clinic). Sally spoke about how the Elks had volunteered over 890 hours and in 1918, our organization built a 700 bed hospital in Boston, donated it to the federal government, thus creating the precursor to today’s VA Medical Centers.