Americanism Committee

Mountain Home Elks throwing out the first pitch at the season opener of the Cal Ripken Jr. jamboree plus raising donated flags.

My Fellow Americans,

All the forms should be out to all the Lodges for the Americanism Essay. Remember this year there will not be a Grand Lodge Award for Essays but we will operate with the State Budget for our prizes on the District levels as well as the State. If any Lodge who wishes to compete but did not get packets with the rules and forms let me know at tomt909[at]yahoo[dot]com Or telephone me at 208-863-9286 and I will make sure you will get what you need.

As we go in to our final stages before the National election, it is interesting that some people you assumed would be voting a certain way, is not always the case. As Americans we need to vote our conscience as is our right as American citizens. The important decision of all is that we use our rights and vote.

United we stand, divided we fall! As Lodges as we go through these tough time, let’s all unite behind one major cause and that cause should be that we all help each other as Lodges gain membership, lend support to a lodge that is struggling, by participating in some of their events and lending special ideas that have worked for our particular Lodge. Americanism is a committee to help spark patriotism to all communities
that they never forget that we distinctively American, united under one flag, the American flag, with committees designed to take care of our Vets and never forget them, to love our leader God, to vote our rights, to display our American Flag and show respect and honor it by retiring it properly, and show our communities what patriotism is all about.

God Bless you All! God Bless our veterans both young and elderly! God bless our beloved Country, America!

Fraternally and Respectfully,
Tom Tuttle- State Elks Americanism Chairman

Several changes have been made at Grand Lodge! One of those changes is how the Americanism Committee is now listed. We are now under the title of the Fraternal Committee. I was not sure how even Grand Lodge wanted to continue with the Americanism Essay contest. They do want to continue and have issued theme "What does the National Anthem mean to me?" There have been some changes on the prizes for the contest. Grand Lodge will no longer give out prizes but have left this up to the State to give out the rewards. In Idaho we have a budget to honor the State and District awards. The contest has the same rules with 250 words or less, cover sheets etc. Our District chairmen are Ralph West from the East, Candy Birchmier from the North and Bill Washam from the South. I will continue to be the State Chairman. I have changed my address which is 2460 Canal Street Apt.102, Bosie with the zip code of 83705. My phone number is a Cell # 206-863-9286. My e-mail is the same tomt909@ yahoo.com. Ralph, Candy, and Bill Washam should have the same phones as list in the Directory. Since not all Lodge chairman have the same Americanism Essay Chairman as listed, I have asked theDistrict Chairmen to get the correct name and stats, I have asked the District Chairmen to get this information for me, so I can send out packets for the contest. If you could email me this information from your Lodge or telephone me, this will help speed up the search.

A lot of changes have been happening in our Lodge system which a part of our changing times. Work with Grand Lodge and all will work out for our betterment. Our commitment to our communities in stress patriotism is still the same which is needed more than ever. We still must honor our vets, fly our flag with pride, honor our God, and teach this lesson to our fellow Americans. In looking at the Olympic it made me proud how Athletes show such pride in our County. The pride is still there!

God Bless you all!
God bless America!

Fraternally,
Tom Tuttle- Elks Americanism Chairman

A time to remember & feel blessed. As we ended the old year & begin the new think about our past blessings and perhaps keep that thought all the way through the New Year. I viewed the nativity story in December. The things Mary & Joseph had to go through with Mary being an unwed mother being shunned by the customs of the times almost to the point of being stoned. Traveling to Bethlehem, a long journey in very crude travel settings and delivering Christ.

Viewing Pearl Harbor & the sacrifices made by our now veterans. Viewing 9/11 an event which showed our vulnerability in a world which has grown smaller due to fast moving technology & the lives of firemen & citizens who risked them to save the people in the disaster. In reading world news, note the dictators in power & the inhumane treatment of a massive amount of people due to power & greed. We must be thankful that we have a different form of representation, we must be thankful that we have a God in heaven to protect us, we must be thankful that we have young men & women out there standing watch, to protect us from harm. We have a lot to be thankful.

Let’s acknowledge that thankfulness by supporting our vets, showing our respect to God, voting to choose the proper people to represent us and never forget the sacrifices made for all of us.

God Bless you All!
Tom Tuttle- Americanism Chairman

There is a saying in the business world when a business starts failing after many years of success! “Go back to what got you there” In understanding this saying, many businesses were successful because while they were small, they took care of the details such as understanding the word trust. If they promised something to a customer, they made sure it was done on time. When they grew and expanded they forgot some of those details. There was a time a hand shake was as good as a contract. I can relate to a relative of mine who was on a trip in the thirties and after traveling 100 miles out of town, turn the car around and drove back because he had promised a man he would pay him on that day. He then resumed his trip! In our world today being accountable for what we commit to is a very important trust which must be accomplished if we are going to be successful. As Elks, we must always display this image of trust!

Our new Americanism Essay theme is “Why I am proud to Pledge Allegiance to our Flag” It will be interesting to read these thoughts from our new young leaders! How many of us have an understanding of the words being pledged?

In our own ritual to be an Elk, how many of us understand our pledge taken in the Obligation? In our fast pace world, let us take the time to evaluate the promises and pledges we make to others! It’s just plain good business! God Bless You All! God Bless our Veterans! God Bless America!

Tom Tuttle- Americanism Chairman

My Fellow Americans,

Happy Birthday America! It is hard to fathom that our country is only 235 years old! As we look at our country today, so much has been accomplished in such a short of time. Our founding fathers started everything rolling with discontent on how they were being governed, with no say in the laws being enacted to govern them. At first it was just discontent with no real desire to be an independent government, but as time went on in their quest to right their freedoms, they realized that they actual wanted their own independent country where they could select their own leaders, worship in their own ways, be able to raise their families in their own way, be able to control their own destinies. We could do this without being afraid! We could do this because we had a Constitution and Bill of Rights giving us the ability to functions with out fear of persecution. Having the independence to work under these conditions, our country built a great country which went from a colony to a government unmatched by any other government and a leader to the world. For years we were an isolated country which made us feel very secure but as the world changed, with travel so much more advanced, so did our isolationism where outside forces became a threat. We observed this on Pearl Harbor Day and 9/11. These were wakeup calls which had real affects on our lives! During 9/11 people once again took time out from their busy lives to unite as a nation in protecting the rights of each other. They went to work in building back what was destroyed, their patriotism became stronger, they cried out in prayer to our greatest leader God for his protection. As our founding fathers found the strength and wisdom to overcome their fears, so must we as current Americans take time out to overcome our fears and reach out to keep our freedoms. We cannot wait for a wake up call but must make our quest to keep our independents a daily desire. The Elks have always practiced this form of desire, they have made sure our flag was the United states flag, they have put forth fundraisers in times of crisis, they practice their believe in God, and they are a proactive organization in accomplishing what must be done to keep our country safe and strong. Be Proud to Be An Elk! Be Proud to Be an American!

God Bless you all! God Bless America!
Tom Tuttle- Americanism State Chairman

In the 18th Century, our forefathers created a new government in which all men by the Declaration of Independence are created Equal. They had lived under the rule of a monarchy and wanted to be free to choose the laws, their people who governed them, worship with out persecution, and many other rights to live a free life. As a new government, they established a new flag in which we have for over two hundred years used as our symbol for a free country. The new country abolished the symbol of their old country, the British flag as it no longer was their flag or represented their new country. When new citizens come to our country seeking a new life and pledging The United States as their new country, they no longer can pay allegiance to their old country or the old countries flag, as they are no longer, by their own choice, a member of that country. They and other members of this country have one symbol in which to pledge and that is the American Flag. There is House Joint Resolution 13 before Congress that prohibits physical desecration of the Fag of the United States. We must show pride in our flag and make sure that it is protected. There are proper ways to retire a flag with respect!

On June 14th, Flag Day, there is a special program that is beautiful and respectful showing the history of our flag and the military flags. It is at 7:00 pm at the Veterans Hospital. I urge you all to see this event. In the State of Idaho, other Elks Lodges are conducting similar programs. Please seek out a Lodge in your area, to enjoy this event.

God Bless You!
God Bless America!
Tom Tuttle - Americanism State Chairman