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Monday, May 28, 2012

With Gratitude on Memorial Day

Our country has been at war for so long now it often feels as if every day is a memorial day with the loss of American lives we read about in the news and see on television. But when we haven't been at war for nine years, seven months and 28 days, the significance of Memorial Day stands out with more contrast than we have become accustomed to in recent years.

Memorial Day is a Federal holiday that recognizes and pays tribute to all of the men and women who have died serving our armed forces since the Civil War. Flying the flag at half staff symbolizes our country's collective grief and mourning.

So I write this post to pay my respects to those who have died defending the rights and liberties our country believes in. They were willing to stand together fighting for human rights to try to make this country, and the world, a better and safer place for all. For that, I can only give them, and their families, a sincere and heartfelt thank you on this day of remembrance.

How to Fly the American Flag at Half-Staff

In the morning raise the flag to full-staff at the top of the flap pole for just a moment then immediately lower it to half-staff.

The flag remains at half-staff throughout the morning.

At noon the flag is raised back up to its full-staff position for the remainder of the day.

When to Fly the American Flag at Half-Staff

Memorial Day - Sunrise to Noon on the Last Monday each May

Peace Officers Memorial Day - Sunrise to sunset each May 15th

Patriot Day - Sunrise to sunset each September 11th

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - Sunrise to sunset as a yearly proclamation on December 7th

At the Direction of the President

At the Direction of a State's Governor

On GettysburgFlag.com there is also a reference to citizens choosing to display the flag at half staff as a symbol of respect:

Private citizens and non government buildings may choose to fly their flags at half staff to honor more local leaders. The Flag Code does not exclude any citizen, whether they belong to an organization or not, whether they are recognized very locally or regionally. Examples of deceased citizens that might be honored with by lowering the Flag to half-staff include local religious leaders, youth leaders, honored teachers or sports coaches, local politicians, or a local hero. There need be no authorization from the government for the private sector (non-government) to use the Flag to honor any citizen.

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