By JOHN STEVENS
Martinez News-Gazette Contributor
The Martinez Kiwanis Club, as a service club, features various speakers at its weekly lunches. These bring knowledge out of diverse fields, from professional to historical to personal.
In January, Don Ulrich presented an expansive history of the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States.
As Don explained, the Pledge has gone through a number of versions and, at times there were multiple similar, but different forms in use. Congress officially recognized a version of the Pledge for the first time on June 22, 1942.
With that formalization, there was another significant change. It was in how we salute the flag.
Until WWII, one raised the right arm, outreaching toward the flag with the hand cupped upwards. Because of the similarity to the salute used by the Nazis, we changed to addressing the flag by placing our hand over our heart (or a military style salute as appropriate for the individual.)
Don concluded, after that time there were various minor changes made to the Pledge which involved decisions to include or not include the word “God.”
Future lunches will include a number of speakers of note. In the month of February, Kiwanis will host the following:
Feb 14 – Carol Louisell, Director of the Cancer Support Community. It provides support and services for many County families including people we know.
Feb 21 – Nancy Tackett President of National Daffodil Society. The peak of the local season is right around February 21. The speaker will point out places one can go locally to see outstanding displays.
Feb 28 – Peter Mulder, founder of Will Mulders Foundation for Autism, an advocacy group for community-based programs that promote inclusion and support in a variety of ways for those in the special needs community in Contra Costa County.
The public is invited to attend Kiwanis lunches which are held every Thursday at noon, 750 Allen St, Martinez.
For additional information about Kiwanis and its activities, contact: John Stevens