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Masons to hold flag ceremony on 9/11

A formal ceremony to replace the American flag at the Sequim Masonic Hall, 700 S. Fifth Ave., is set for 11 a.m. Thursday.

The date marks the seventh anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. The day was designated Patriot Day by a resolution unanimously passed by Congress in October of that year and signed into law by President George W. Bush in December.

Robert Clark, secretary of Sequim Lodge No. 213, said members of the National Sojourners, a branch of the Masons, dressed in Revolutionary War era costumes, will formally lower the old flag that has flown in front of the building since 2005. Then they will demonstrate how to properly dispose of an old flag by conducting a formal flag burning ceremony, he said.

"This is what we did three years ago. Our flag stays flying but it's gotten worn over the years. The public is certainly invited, we want to get the word out," Clark said.

That flag was a gift from Ed Short and had flown above the U.S. Capitol building in 2001.

The National Sojourners is a Masonic organization made up of Master Masons who have served or presently are serving as commissioned officers for the United States military.

The Free Masons is the largest and oldest fraternity in the world, with roots dating back to the Knights of Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks helping pilgrims get to the Holy Land.

The club's dedication to the American flag isn't uncommon. The Founding Fathers of the U.S. were generally Free Masons. The organization is religious in nature but dedicates itself to a philosophy of moral code rather than a system of faith.

In the community today, the Masonic Lodge provides scholarships to graduating students and plays host to many events in its local lodges. To become a Free Mason, one must express interest to one who is already in the order. The fraternity is not allowed to solicit membership.

Call 683-4431 for directions or more information.

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