The Fraternal Order of Eagles

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The Fraternal Order of Eagles metal grave markers come in many shapes and forms, including the various iterations found in the South Park Cemetery at Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana.  Each marker version contains the letters F O E representing the words Fraternal Order of Eagles and some contain the letters L T J and E that relates to liberty, truth, justice, and equality found in the organization’s mission statement:

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.

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Founded February 6, 1898, by six Seattle, Washington, theater owners John Cort, John W. and Tim J. Considine, Arthur Williams, Mose Goldsmith, and Harry Leavitt organized as “The Order of Good Things”.  Within two months, in April of the same year, the fraternal order changed its name to The Fraternal Order of Eagles and adopted the American bald eagle as their emblem.

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The Eagles organize local chapters into aeries, (the chapter number is on the center of the marker–859) so named for the nests of eagles which are usually high and difficult to access.  Nearly since their inception, the Eagles have lobbied for causes important to the organization, such as the creation of Mother’s Day in 1904, later in the 30s for Social Security, and in 2006 to keep the two words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Eagles also contribute to many charities, such as, St. Jude’s Hospital, a Disaster Relief Fund, Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa, Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund, D. D. Dunlap Kidney Fund, among others.

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