On Monday, the Senate honored the 119 years of community service given by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles (F.O.E.), an organization devoted to peace, prosperity and gladness since its founding in 1898. Senator Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, sponsored the resolution and related the vastness of the Eagles’ cultural impact from the Senate floor.
“The Eagles are responsible for the institution of Mother’s Day,” Fortunato observed. “If you have a mom and you’ve given her special recognition on Mother’s Day, you’ve been influenced by the Eagles.”
The Eagles were founded by a group of theater directors in Seattle and have seven American presidents among their past members, including Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. In addition to Mother’s Day, notable Eagles achievements in social policy include its “Jobs After 40” program to end age-based discrimination. The Eagles were also a driving force behind the implementation of Social Security and worker’s compensation.
The Fraternal Order of the Eagles has committed millions of dollars to various causes including $25 million dollars to the University of Iowa F.O.E. Diabetes Research Center and more than $1 million dollars to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“The Eagles are an incredible testament to the independent American character observed by Alexis de Tocqueville,” Fortunato said. “Citizens here don’t just wait for government to solve problems; we band together as individuals and make things happen ourselves. The Eagles have been doing that for 119 years.”
The Grand Worthy President of the F.O.E., Jerry Sullivan and his wife Maxine, were on hand to witness the Senate action, as was the Worthy President of the Washington State Eagles, Bill Walton.