CRESTVIEW — Flag Day came a day later for the Elks Lodge, but patriotism was as palpable as ever, according to members.
The Crestview lodge and the Twin Cities Lodge had prior commitments that precluded a traditional June 14 ceremony, but the organizations received permission to reschedule the proceeding for Saturday.
The Emerald Coast Young Marines joined them to express appreciation for lodge members’ support and the facility’s use as a regular meeting location.
The ceremony featured patriotic singing and a presentation on the American flag’s evolving appearance, from when it had just 13 stars, to the most recent version with the Hawaii star’s 1960 inclusion.
Later, Young Marines received ribbons and awards for recent accomplishments.
Pvt. Michelle Pepper, 11, who earned a ribbon for taking a course on first aid kits, said she appreciates the group’s camaraderie.
"I have enjoyed that you can work together with everyone in our group, and you can have that discipline, leadership and teamwork with everyone," she said.
Michelle said that she walked away from Saturday’s ceremony with more knowledge about America's history.
"I didn't know that there was so many flags," she said.
Pvt. Makayla Martin, 11, received a hands-on lesson in flag-handling decorum when she participated in a ceremony the prior day at a Milton cemetery.
"We got to change the flags out and raise them for a ceremony," Makayla said. "It was new to me, so it was a great experience and now I know how to put up a flag."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.