Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge No. 2815 held an impressive Flag Day and Flag Retirement ceremony at the lodge for the third consecutive year since moving the venue from SaddleBrooke. This year Past Exalted Ruler Larry Megahan joined Past Exalted Ruler Jim Cox in co-chairing the event. Lodge officers, flag escorts, narrators, soloists, the Oro Valley American Legion Post 132 Color Guard, keynote speaker Garry Jenkins—a retired secret service agent—and numerous volunteers contributed to the success of this event.
This year’s Flag Day was even more inspiring because of a special presentation from Bring the Wall, Inc., a nonprofit corporation made up of volunteers, which brought The Wall That Heals to Oro Valley in March. The group raised over $32,000 to bring the half-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to the area. After covering costs, there was a surplus of $8,000 which was split between Tucson Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial fund and Tucson Veterans Serving Veterans. Chairman Cliff Wade accepted a $4,184 check which will be used for their Veterans in Need program.
The Wall exhibit inspired students from Wilson Elementary School to create an American flag with their handprints that included thank you messages to Bring the Wall Board members. That flag was presented during the Flag Day ceremony at Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge where it will find its permanent home.