John F Kennedy, a notable member of our order, is often quoted as saying “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. While we often use this quote when we’re trying to rally support for an event or a cause, however, Former President Kennedy finished his speech encouraging the world to come together to further the cause of freedom for all mankind.
When we look around at the charitable activities supported by the Elks at our lodge, we have been known to cite our Major Project as well as the support we provide for youth, the veterans, the scholarships, the sick and Infirmed, and the list goes on… On an individual basis, I would encourage each of us to take a few minutes and recall the obligation that each of us took upon becoming a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In order to support some cause or organization, it is necessary to understand the guiding foundation. In our case, it is the statutes, rules, and regulations of our order, along with the individual bylaws of our lodge.
During the obligation we agreed to support all of this and more, both at the lodge and, as we’re charged, “You may well be proud that the Members of this Lodge have deemed you worthy of their confidence. I trust that you may continue to merit their approval and become a true and faithful Member among us. To accomplish this, you must at all times have in mind the solemn and binding Obligation which you have so recently assumed, and I charge you that your highest duty as an Elk is to keep it inviolate. Conscience will not permit you to expunge a paragraph, eliminate a sentence, or evade a responsibility; nor can you lay it aside when you leave the Lodge room, for it must henceforth be your constant guide and faithful monitor.”
Here’s to supporting each other in the order in a spirit of Thanksgiving that we may all be the best versions of ourselves!
Fraternally, Kira Wagner, Exalted Ruler