Hands join, Boy Scouts honor flag at ceremony

BURBANK — At 4 p.m. on Thursday, more than 50 men, women and children stood in the Burbank Tennis Center with their hands over their hearts.

As they recited the Pledge of Allegiance, they joined Americans all across the county who were observing Flag Day with the "Pause for Pledge of Allegiance" — when people in all of the nation's time zones salute the flag at the exact same time.

As a part of the ceremony, Boy Scouts in uniform marched five flags out to the center of the assembly as a pre-recorded narrative traced the flag's evolution from its original design — the red cross of St. George and the white cross of St. Andrew juxtaposed over a red background — to the present-day banner of 13 stripes and 50 stars.

"The national pause … was conceived as a way for Americans to share patriotic feeling and show unity to the world," said David Harris, master of ceremonies for the event.

Vietnam veteran and Burbank resident Alan Lamack sat quietly near the back of the bleachers as the ceremony unfolded on Thursday. Though he has lived in Burbank on and off for the past 50 years, Thursday marked the first time he came out for the pause for allegiance.

"I'm here today because I love this country and the people who fought and died for it," he said. "I've been all over the world and people don't realize how good this country is until they leave it."

The ceremony also recognized the winners of the Kiwanis Club's annual patriotic drawing contest. Awards in the third- to fifth-grade category went to Jamie Phan, first place; Albert Manukyan, second place; Royce Correa, third place; David Ramirez, first honorable mention and Jonathan Afzali, second honorable mention.

In the middle school category, for grades six to eight, awards went to Skyler Heidel, first place; Grace Dunn, second place; Hayley Gustafson, third place; Colton Ku, first honorable mention and Chistian Sujuy, second honorable mention.

Tatev Oganyan and Gustavo Osorio shared the top prize in the high school category.

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