Flag Day helps show patriotism at Roosevelt Park

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – Roosevelt Park might have experienced a brief dose or two of rain squalls, but the festivities and ceremonies continued to rain down Tuesday evening. 

Of course, the occasion was well worth the rain drops as the park hosted Flag Day with Devils Lakes Elks Lodge #1216 and the Devils Lake Elks Community Band on June 14. 

Flag Day took place at Roosevelt Park on June 14.

The event, spanning over an hour, included the Presentation of Colors, the Flag Day Ritual by Devils Lake Elks Lodge #1216, the History of the Flag and the Retiring of Colors. 

Dianne Gunderson, who plays flute and piccolo for the Devils Lake Elks Community Band, has been a steady player in the band for more than 30 years. From her time as a band member, Gunderson has recognized the importance of Flag Day to the community and country as a whole. 

While the crowd was undoubtedly a respectable size – even with weather interfering halfway through – Gunderson believes the community at large should attend the event more frequently in the future. After all, the history and significance are well worth the trip. 

“I think it would be a good thing for people to understand the history,” Gunderson said. “I never knew about the Pine Tree Flag or the [Gadsden] Flag. I didn’t know about that until I got into the band and started seeing this Flag Day ceremony every year. I’ve seen it a lot of times now, but I think people in Devils Lake should see it because it’s important.” 

Ryan Strid conducts the Devils Lake Elks Community Band. Strid additionally understands the ceremony’s importance. 

“Just the tradition aspect of it, of course, is really big,” Strid said. “We’ve been playing [at] Flag Day for a long time as well as Memorial Day, Veterans Day…those are kind of our big service ones that we do on the patriotic side of things.” 

Even with weather interfering, the band played, the flags waved, and the crowd cheered. From start to finish, the spectacle helped illustrate the event’s importance to all in attendance. 

Weather aside, patriotism still showed. 

“Really, it’s an opportunity for the community, especially the younger generations, to get a sense of what it means to be an American, and that kind of thing,” Strid said. 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.