President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff at all federal buildings to commemorate the more than 1 million Americans who have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Flags were ordered to fly at half-staff beginning May 12 and through sunset on Monday, May 16, the president’s proclamation reads. The nation hit the grim milestone of more than a million deaths this week.
“As a Nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow. To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible,” Biden said in the proclamation. “In remembrance, let us draw strength from each other as fellow Americans. For while we have been humbled, we never give up. We can and will do this together as the United States of America.”
Flags to honor the country’s COVID dead were last flown at half-staff in 2020 when the country hit 100,000 deaths.
The order applies to flags flown at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, military posts and naval stations and on naval vessels of the federal government in the District of Columbia and throughout the U.S. and its territories. The order also includes all United States embassies, legations, consular offices and other facilities abroad.
In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker made a similar order to lower flags at half-staff at all main or administration buildings of each public institution of the commonwealth, including town and city halls and other state-owned or controlled buildings.
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