Mr. Fowler is correct that the Mullis Center is discontinuing the practice of saying the Pledge of Allegiance at its Senior Lunches. We have come to realize that some seniors are not comfortable with this practice.
Our aim is to better fulfill our mission to serve ALL seniors on San Juan Island without regard to race, color, creed, religion or national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability, etc. Our decision has nothing to do with patriotism.
We certainly do not intend to disrespect veterans or the flag!
Our Meals Program receives federal funding, as well as funding from non-governmental sources, that require we be open to all. We note that in offering Senior Lunches the Mullis Center is not a legislative body engaged in the people’s business, nor are we a patriotic organization where the pledge is central to its functions. It’s just lunch. You don't say the Pledge of Allegiance before a meal at a restaurant.
In response to a complaint from some participants, the Operations Committee has adopted a policy that Senior Meals will include the Pledge of Allegiance on those special occasions where a patriotic gesture is appropriate.
As the Mullis Center moves to offering meals three times a week in April, we particularly want to welcome all seniors and people with disabilities on the island to join us for lunch. Note that lunch is open to everyone, not just seniors! Please join us ( Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 11:30) and bring a friend!
Rita Weisbrod, Chair, Mullis Center Operations Committee