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Half-staff flags September 11

PATRIOT DAY AND NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE AND REMEMBRANCE, 2016

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

kitty-hawk-half-staffed-flag On September 11, 2001, America experienced the worst terrorist attack in her history when nearly 3,000 men, women, and children were taken from us, leaving their families and our Nation with a void that can never be filled. But those who brought hate to our shores and smoke to our skies did not expect our country to emerge stronger, and our beacons of hope and freedom to shine brighter as a result.  In the years since, we have stood strong as one people ‑‑ determined to further embolden our country’s character with acts of endurance and strength; rebuilding and resilience; renewal and progress.  In remembrance of the innocent victims who lost their lives and in honor of the families they left behind, let us continue to answer these heinous acts by serving our communities, lifting the lives of our fellow citizens, and spreading the hope that others tried to dim that day.

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day,” and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized “National Day of Service and Remembrance.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2016, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001

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U.S. Flag ordered to half-staff

HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK IN NICE, FRANCE

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

As a mark of respect for the victims of the attack perpetrated on July 14, 2016, in Nice, France, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 19, 2016. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA

 

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Half-staffing orders issued for U.S. and Texas flags

The Texas Governor’s office has issued half-staffing orders for the Texas flag, and President Obama has issued half-staffing orders for the U.S. flag, in honor and mourning for the five murdered law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas.

The half-staffing order for both flags continues through Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

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President orders national flag to half-staff

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

June 12, 2016

Presidential Proclamation — Honoring the Victims of the Attack in Orlando, Florida

HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA 

– – – – – – – 

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION 

As a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terror perpetrated on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, June 16, 2016. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 

twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. 

BARACK OBAMA

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National POW/MIA Recognition Day to be celebrated September 18, 2009

POW_MIA_flag The third Friday in September is honored as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The flag is flown in the full-staff position on this day. While the law addresses flying the POW/MIA flag on federal installations only (see the link above), civilians should fly the POW/MIA flag directly beneath the U.S. flag on the same pole. State flags should not be flown on the same pole on these occasions.

I am not a member of the National League of Families, but I think those who are would remind us all that is not an occasion of mourning. This is a day to be filled with hope and determination, and to remember that there is still much work to be done. From the League of Families website:

UPDATE:  September 2, 2009

AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR:  There are now 1,731 US personnel listed by the Defense POW/MIA Office (DPMO) as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.  The number of US personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is now 852.  During the League’s 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting, a League member announced that she had just received confirmation from JPAC that remains recovered earlier had been identified as those of her brother, MSGT Donald C. Grella, USA, of Nebraska, listed KIA/BNR on December 28, 1965 in South Vietnam.  Also now accounted for from that same incident are WO2 Jesse D.  Phelps of Idaho and CPL Thomas Rice, Jr. of South Carolina, both also US Army and initially listed as KIA/BNR.  Three Air Force personnel whose names were released as accounted for are Capt Robert J. Edgar of Florida, listed MIA in Laos on 2/5/68, remains repatriated 5/27/97 and identified 4/28/09; Maj Curtis D. Miller of Texas, listed MIA in Laos on 3/29/72, remains repatriated 8/2/06 and identified 2/12/08; and LtCol Russell A. Poor of Indiana, listed MIA in North Vietnam on 2/4/67, remains repatriated 6/14/07 and identified 5/26/08.  To each of these families, the League offers understanding and the hope that these concrete answers bring long-awaited peace of mind.  Of the 1,731 men still missing, 90% were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control.

You can help:  National League of Families

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National Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial Weekend

_139189_capitol_flag_at_half_mast_AP300 Please remember to fly your flag in the half-staff position on Sunday, October 5, in honor of National Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial Weekend. 

On October 16, 2001, President George W. Bush approved legislation—Public Law 107-51—requiring the U.S. flag to be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters.

 

mw07sat_72bg Emmitsburg, MD – The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration announce that the 27th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will be held October 4-5, 2008.

A plaque with the names of 101 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2007 will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located here on the National Fire Academy campus.

The names of 9 firefighters who died in previous years will also be added. The plaques surrounding the Memorial, which was established in 1981, will contain the names of more than 3,200 firefighters.

Thirty-four states experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2007. Deaths resulted from many causes, including vehicle accidents while en route to or returning from emergency calls, training incidents, building collapses, being struck by objects (vehicles, trees) at the incident scene, falls, heart attacks, helicopter crashes, and burns. Six multiple fatality incidents accounted for 19 deaths. Four multiple fatality incidents occurred at structural fires, one during an explosion at a HAZMAT incident, and another in an apparatus crash en route to an emergency call. Wildland fires, controlled burns and training/ certification for wildland protection resulted in 5 fatalities. South Carolina suffered the Nation’s greatest number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths in 2007 with 10, while Pennsylvania had 8, North Carolina had 8, and New York had 7.

Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors, stated: "Each year, members of the fire service, survivors of our fallen heroes, and other guests join together in Emmitsburg, Maryland, during the Memorial Weekend to honor those firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. They travel from all over the United States to take part in this important weekend of events. It’s a time of dignity, respect, and reflection for our service, and an opportunity to extend our collective love and support to the survivors. Family members, as well as fellow firefighters, learn of the services the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has available for them and how they can stay connected to the Foundation for assistance in the future."

The photograph shown above was taken by Bill Green, of a memorial worn in honor of Alabama firefighter Matthew K. Brimer, who died in 2003.

For more information on National Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial Weekend, see

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and here.

Firehouse.com

Everyone Goes Home

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Tomorrow is POW-MIA Recognition Day

466px-United_States_POW-MIA_flag.svgThe third Friday of each September is set aside by law, as National POW-MIA Recognition Day, and today I want to cover the protocol for flying the POW-MIA flag. Tomorrow I’ll write about the flag, and how it came to be, and what it means to Americans.

Tomorrow the U.S. Flag flies at full staff, with the POW-MIA flag, on the same pole flying directly underneath. Federal and military installations do not fly state flags, which is why the POW-MIA flag flies on the same pole.

The 105th Congress designated by law, with the passage of Section 1082(g) within the 1998 Defense Authorization Act—(linked here, but I have included the entire text at the end of this article), that the POW-MIA flag is to be flown at all Federal and U.S. Military Installations on these six days: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, POW-MIA Recognition Day, and Veterans Day. On holidays when the National flag is half-staffed, then the POW-MIA flag is half-staffed also.

The federal installations are:

The Capitol building and the White House, in Washington D.C.

The Korean War and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials,

Every National Cemetery

Any building containing the official offices of the Secretary of State

The offices of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The offices of the Director of the Selective Service System

Every Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Every U.S. Post Office (which are not permitted to fly state flags)

All national parks and national monument sites

The information below should be carefully noted because of the specificity.

(2) In addition to the days specified in paragraph (1) of this
    subsection, POW/MIA flag display days include –
        (A) in the case of display at the World War II Memorial, Korean
      War Veterans Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial (required by
      subsection (d)(3) of this section), any day on which the United
      States flag is displayed;
        (B) in the case of display at medical centers of the Department
      of Veterans Affairs (required by subsection (d)(7) of this
      section), any day on which the flag of the United States is
      displayed; and
        (C) in the case of display at United States Postal Service post
      offices (required by subsection (d)(8) of this section), the last
      business day before a day specified in paragraph (1) that in any
      year is not itself a business day.

Sections (A) and (B) mean that the POW-MIA flag is to always be flown at these locations on any day the U.S. flag is displayed. In practice, this would be very day of the year.

Section (C), which applies to U.S. Post Offices, means that the POW-MIA flag is to be flown the day before the designated holiday, if the day falls on a national holiday when the post office is not open (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day).

How should civilians fly the POW-MIA flag?

Last spring I contacted the office of one of my federal senators representing Texas, Sen. John Cornyn. I requested a finding from the Congressional Research Service, which exists to support members of Congress and their staffs on research inquiries. I received it in July.

I was flummoxed by the fact that the precise instructions for flying the POW-MIA flag only addresses federal and military installations, yet is carefully outlined in Title 36, Section 902 of the United States Code, which is written for civilians.

The Congressional Research Service was unable to find any further instruction regarding civilian flag protocol for the POW-MIA flag. Other VSOs (veterans service organizations) have asked for clarifying legislation, but nothing has changed yet. Civilian protocol is silent on this problem.

Incredibly, protocol for POW-MIA flag, the most highly esteemed flag of all VSOs, is not addressed for civilians in the U.S. Code, which is written for civilians. So it becomes necessary to establish a civilian POW-MIA flag protocol based on existing law.

Allow me to use the state of Texas as an example. All state flags may fly equal to, but never higher than the U.S. flag, if flown on separate poles. The Texas flag code says that only the U.S. flag can fly above the Texas flag, if the two flags are flown on the same pole.  According to the Texas flag code, the POW-MIA flag could never be flown above the Texas state flag. Other states follow the same protocol. The flag code never changes the order of precedence.

The Conclusion for civilians—how to do it

Civilians are not required to fly the POW-MIA flag, but if you want to, this is how to do it, after you sort out the flag code and flag precedence.

On the six designated holidays, when the U.S. Code calls for the POW-MIA flag to be flown underneath and next to the U.S. flag, and if there is only one flagpole in use, do not fly the state flag.

On the six designated holidays, if there are two poles in use, the POW-MIA flag flies underneath and next to the U.S. flag, and the state flag flies on the next pole. On non-holidays, the POW-MIA flag can still be flown underneath and next to the U.S. flag, because it is not higher than a state flag.

If there are three poles in use, and it is NOT one of the six designated POW-MIA flag flying days, then the POW-MIA flag would fly third in order of precedence, or on the third pole. It could still be flown underneath and next to the U.S. flag (which is the preferred position), and the third pole could be used for a city or corporate flag. The point is, the POW-MIA flag is never flown above a state flag, but may be flown equal to the U.S. flag, a state flag, and so on. If the location provides for many flagpoles and flags, then subsequent flags (after U.S. and state) are flown in order of congressional authorization (or incorporation), which is chronological.

I have come to this conclusion after detailed research and careful consultation with federal and military experts. It is a reasoned and thoughtful conclusion that adheres to the protocol and etiquette of all flags concerned, and in the absence of further legislation, I stand by it.

Continue reading Tomorrow is POW-MIA Recognition Day

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9-11 Memorials—an overview on the 7th anniversary

Flight 93 National Memorial, Pennsylvania

Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania

 

Pentagon Memorial Project, Washington D.C.

Pentagon Memorial artistic image

 

National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center, New York City, NY

Twin Towers memoral design

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Memorial Day reminder

U.S. flag flying half-staff at Kitty HawkRemember that Monday is Memorial Day, and the flag is flown at half-staff from dawn until noon. At noon it should be raised to the full-staff position.

If you work in a business location where the flag is flown (especially 24/7), please remind those who take care of the flag about the proper protocol for the Memorial Day holiday. It might be a kindness if you offer to share the additional obligations of this day—one person to place the flag at half-staff in the morning, and another person to raise it to full-staff at noon.

By Congressional order, the POW/MIA flag is also flown on Memorial Day at all federal installations. This flag is half-staffed with the U.S. flag.

Home owners with flags that are not easily half-staffed may attach a black ribbon to the flag pole, as a sign of remembrance and mourning. Please remember to remove it at noon.