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President Donald Trump lowers flags to half-staff at federal buildings, national monuments this weekend

US_flag_at_half_staff_ (MarkBuckawicki/WikiCommons)

In memory of the nearly 100,000 Americans who’ve died amid the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at all federal buildings and national monuments over Memorial Day weekend.

The president announced the decision in a tweet after touring a Ford Motor Company plant in Michigan and delivering a speech that combined core re-election campaign messages with highlights of his administration’s pandemic response.

Last month, likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had urged Trump to make the gesture of lowering the flags. However, Trump had also issued a proclamation last year for Memorial Day, ordering flags to fly at half-staff, an encouraging Americans to fly their own flags.

Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also urged the president to make such an order, with coronavirus deaths nearing 95,000 in the U.S.

More than 1.5 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and nearly 300,000 have fully recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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“Respectful of them and the loss to our country, we are writing to request that you order flags to be flown at half staff on all public buildings in our country on the sad day of reckoning when we reach 100,000 deaths,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a letter to Trump. “It would serve as a national expression of grief so needed by everyone in our country.”

The president added that on Monday, which is Memorial Day, flags will fly at half-staff “in honor of the men and women in our military who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.”

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© 2020 MassLive.com