Flag Day Ceremony Highlighted by KeyNote Speaker Sonia Arreguin

Sonia Arreguin, a clinical social worker and President of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the Elks Lodge of Clovis’ annual Flag Day Ceremony. (Photo J.T. Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

June 14, 2023 – The Clovis Elks Lodge NO 2599 held their annual Flag Day Ceremony outside of their Elks Lodge building near Pollasky Ave on Wednesday, June 14th.

At this ceremony held outside on the street near the Centennial Plaza in Old Town Clovis, after an introduction by Elks Lodge members Tim Salyer, Exalted Ruler, and Fred Tarazon, Esteemed Leading Knight, Sonia Arreguin spoke to the crowd. 

Arreguin, a native of Salinas, is currently working on her PhD and is a licensed clinical social worker.

She has served on the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for four years, and is currently on her second term as president.

It was also explained that Arreguin has a passion for being of service and is committed to strengthening communities. 

Arreguin began her commencement by giving her explanation on what the United States Flag represented for herself personally.

She stated that the reverence and respect that she has for the flag comes from an introduction to it in her days as a grade school student, standing and saluting the flag and reciting the pledge of allegiance every day. 

“The flag is not just a cloth with stars and stripes, it embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the millions of individuals who come to this land in search of a better life for themselves and their children,” transitioned Arreguin, “Individuals such as my paternal grandparents, who’s journey to and into the United States were filled with challenges and triumphs.”

Arreguin mentioned that her Grandfather was superbly proud to mention that he was a U.S. citizen and wondered why everyone around him was upset that they “had to pay taxes”.

She explained that the fact that her Grandfather was able to pay taxes meant that he was an American citizen and had the right to pay for services that should be afforded to him. 

“For him, nothing was more American than paying your taxes and was a symbol of success. The more he paid, meant the more that he made.”

She spoke at length on her family and their journey as refugees to American soil, and being a first generation Mexican-American, mentioning her mother’s response to her success. 

“When we talked about my journey, I realized that that moment [receiving her Masters Degree] was her American Dream.”

Finally, Arreguin finished with thoughts on the flag itself and the representations that are held behind its symbol. 

“It’s a symbol of unity reminding us that despite our diverse backgrounds we are all part of one nation, under one flag. A melting pot of America, a place where people from all walks of life can come together, and share their cultures.”

She ended her speech at the front of the podium in the makeshift stage in front of Centennial Plaza and the ceremony concluded after the retirement of a U.S. Flag. Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 14th. 

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.