Why Is The Flag Flying At Half-Staff Today?
A Proclamation on Remembering the 500,000 Americans Lost to COVID-19
As of this week during the dark winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 500,000 Americans have now died from the virus. That is more Americans who have died in a single year of this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. On this solemn occasion, we reflect on their loss and on their loved ones left behind. We, as a Nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one Nation to defeat this pandemic.
In their memory, the First Lady and I will be joined by the Vice President and the Second Gentleman for a moment of silence at the White House this evening. I ask all Americans to join us as we remember the more than 500,000 of our fellow Americans lost to COVID-19 and to observe a moment of silence at sunset. I also hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on 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 February 26, 2021. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period 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 twenty-second day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
Thursday January 21, 2021: STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO ON NATIONAL GUARD HELICOPTER CRASH IN MENDON THAT KILLED THREE SERVICE MEMBERS
"I am devastated by the news tonight of a New York Army National Guard helicopter crash in the Town of Mendon that killed three of New York's bravest during a training mission.
"National Guard members are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget.
"I am directing that flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff tomorrow in honor of and in tribute to these New Yorkers who dedicated their service to nation and state."
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN OBSERVATION OF ANNIVERSARY OF PEARL HARBOR
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Monday, December 7, in observation of the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the attack, more than 2,400 Americans were killed, including 40 New Yorkers.
"Seventy-nine years ago, more than 2,400 brave souls were tragically lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor. We must never forget that day and how it forever altered our nation's history. New Yorkers are eternally grateful to the men and women of our Armed Forces who have committed their lives to defending our nation, and as we thank them for all they do to keep us safe, we must also honor the sacrifice of those we have lost by upholding the ideals our nation was founded upon.
"While this date continues to live in infamy, it should also remind us how a galvanized nation can come together as one to fight to protect our democracy. During these times of crisis, division and adversity, let us reflect on how much we can overcome when we are united, and work together to help forge a better future for all Americans."
AMID ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO BE FLOWN
AT HALF-MAST IN HONOR OF THOSE WE HAVE LOST TO COVID-19
Flags Will Remain Lowered While New York is on PAUSE
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of those we have lost to COVID-19. The flags will remain lowered while New York is on pause.
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR FALLEN SOLDIER
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Friday, February 14 in honor of Spc. Branden Tyme Kimball, a Fort Drum Soldier who died in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Spc. Kimball, age 21, died in a non-combat related incident at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our deepest sympathy to Spc. Branden Kimball's loved ones," *Governor Cuomo said*. "We are devastated by his loss and join his fellow soldiers, his family, and his friends in honoring his service to our nation. His death is a reminder of the sacrifices members of the military make to protect the freedoms and the values that this state and this nation were founded upon."
Kimball was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division's 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. He was from Central Point, Oregon.
Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF STAFF TO HONOR U.S. COAST GUARD LIEUTENANT THOMAS J.E. CROTTY
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on all State government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, November 2, in honor of World War II U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Thomas J.E. Crotty of Buffalo. Lieutenant Crotty was reported MIA and later died at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines in July 1942. His body will be repatriated to the United States and interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Buffalo on November 2.
"We all owe a debt of gratitude to Lieutenant Crotty for his service and making ultimate sacrifice while defending our country to ensure freedom for future generations of New Yorkers," *Governor Cuomo said*. "To honor Lt. Crotty and his legacy as he is finally and rightfully returned home to Buffalo, I am directing flags to half-staff on all State buildings and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I express our sincerest appreciation for his service."
Lieutenant Crotty played a key role in destroying supplies and facilities to prevent them from falling into enemy hands when the U.S. Navy abandoned its main Naval Base in the Philippines following the Japanese invasion in 1941.
Lieutenant Crotty served with the 16th Naval District-in-Shore Patrol Headquarters aboard the USS Quail in the Philippines. When the Japanese invaded the Island of Corregidor in May 1942, Crotty led a team of Marines and Army personnel firing on Japanese soldiers landing on the island's beach. After the surrender of Corregidor, Lieutenant Crotty and thousands of service members were held at the Cabanatuan POW camp. He was the only Coast Guardsman taken prisoner during World War II. On July 19, 1942, at thirty-years-old, Lieutenant Crotty was killed in action and buried in a mass grave with fellow prisoners.
In the decades since the war, the American Graves Registration Service has exhumed and examined the remains of thousands of fallen soldiers to identify them. Using mitochondrial DNA analysis, Lieutenant Crotty's remains were identified on September 10, 2019, and will be sent home to the United States, arriving at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on November 1.
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF CONGRESSMAN ELIJAH
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Congressman Elijah Cummings from October 18 until interment. The Governor's comments of Congressman Cumming's passing is available here.
"Congressman Cummings was the real deal: He was passionate and eloquent, accomplishing so much in Washington," *Governor Cuomo said*. "I am thankful to have seen his energy in action during our time together in Washington. We lost him too soon, but his memory and contributions to our great country and the State of Maryland will be forever remembered."
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS ON STATE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF WORLD WAR II MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT FRANCIS S. CURREY
Last Living New Yorker to Have Earned the Medal of Honor During World War II
War Hero Distinguished Himself During 1944's Battle of the Bulge
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff tomorrow, October 11, in honor of World War IIMedal of Honor recipient Francis S. Currey, a Selkirk resident. Currey died on October 8, 2019 at age 94. Currey was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 when he knocked out an enemy tank, drove back enemy troops and rescued five American Soldiers who had been pinned down under enemy fire. After the war, Currey, who was born in Loch Sheldrake and raised in Hurleyville, returned to New York and worked at the Albany VA Medical Center from 1950 until 1980. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society he was the last living New Yorker to have earned the Medal during World War II and one of only three living World War II Medal of Honor recipients.
"Francis S. Currey was a true American hero who made great personal sacrifices to serve his country during World War II," *Governor Cuomo said. "His significant contributions during the Battle of the Bugle and beyond helped to defeat fascism during the war, and he continued to serve his country after returning home to New York through his work with veterans. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our sympathy to his friends and family and express our sincerest gratitude for his service, bravery and accomplishments."
Currey was serving as a Private 1st Class in the Army's 30th Infantry Division when the massive German offensive against American troops in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium kicked off in December of 1944.
On Dec. 21, 1944 Currey's unit, 3rd Platoon of Company K of the 120th Infantry Regiment, was defending a bridge over the Warche River in the Belgian town of Malmedy. A German attack overran the position that Currey and five other Soldiers were defending. Currey and the other Americans retreated to a nearby factory under heavy German fire. Currey located a bazooka—an anti-tank weapon—and then ran across the street in full view of the enemy to secure rockets for the weapon. With assistance from another soldier he knocked out the German tank with one shot.
Currey then moved to another position and killed or wounded three German Soldiers emerging from an enemy-held building with his automatic rifle. He took the bazooka and moved to a position 50 yards from the enemy-held building, stood erect, and then fired at the building, collapsing a wall.
From this position, Currey observed five American Soldiers trapped by fire from the enemy held building and three German tanks. He moved to an abandoned vehicle, retrieved an armful of anti-tank grenades and launched them at the German tanks using an M-1 rifle. This forced the enemy soldiers
to flee. Currey then climbed into an abandoned half-track and fired its .50 caliber machine gun at the German occupied position. He moved again to an abandoned .30 caliber machine gun position and opened fire on the enemy, allowing the trapped Americans to escape.
His actions forced the enemy to withdraw, securing the flank of his battalion's position and slowing the German advance for 12 hours. After night fell Currey and the other Americans withdrew.
Along with the Medal of Honor, Currey was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Belgium awarded him the Order of Leopold, their nation's highest honor. Currey was memorialized with a special G.I. Joe military figure in 1998 and appeared on the cover sheet of a series of Medal of Honor stamps in 2013.
Since 2003 Hurleyville, the town where Currey grew up, has marked Francis S. Currey Day with him as a guest, and former New York Governor Paterson declared July 12, 2009 as Francis Currey Day throughout the state. He will be interred Saturday in South Bethlehem, NY.
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF FORMER CAYUGA
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 3, until interment in honor of former Cayuga County undersheriff Stephen McLoud, who died from an illness resulting from his work at the World Trade Center site following the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"Officer McLoud was a dedicated public servant and hero who ultimately sacrificed his life helping our city, state and nation recover at Ground Zero following the September 11th terrorist attacks," *Governor Cuomo said*.
"His selfless service embodies the heroism and bravery exhibited by all first responders who answered the call to serve following that fateful day, and I am directing flags to be flown at half-staff to honor his memory. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to Officer McLoud's friends and family. We will never forget his service and his sacrifice."
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS LOWERED IN HONOR OF ROBERT MORGENTHAU
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state
government buildings be lowered Wednesday, July 24th, until interment to
honor Robert Morgenthau.
Governor Cuomo released the following statement:
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Robert Morgenthau, a
true New York hero whose dedication to public service and the law was
matched only by the impact he had on the young prosecutors and lawyers
like me who worked for him.
"Mr. Morgenthau was the gold standard of prosecutors and the model
public servant, dedicating his life to achieving justice and protecting
the public over the course of a storied career as a federal prosecutor
under two presidents and as the longest serving Manhattan DA in history.
"He did his work with humility and integrity, and created the prestige
of the DA's office - and New York is a better place because of him. I
keep my assistant district attorney badge from the time I worked for Mr.
Morgenthau on my desk as a daily reminder of his unrelenting pursuit of
"In honor of Mr. Morgenthau, I am directing flags on State government
buildings to be lowered to half-staff starting Wednesday, July 24th
"On behalf of the entire New York family, I extend my deepest
condolences to Mr. Morgenthau's family, including his wife Lucinda, his
children Jenny, Anne, Elinor, Robert, Barbara, Joshua and Amy and his
six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren."
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR FALLEN SOLDIER
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today ordered flags on state government
buildings to be flown at half-staff starting tomorrow, June 28, in honor
of a Trumansburg, New York Soldier who died as a result of injuries
sustained in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on June 25. He was 24 years
"On behalf of all New Yorkers I extend our sympathy to the friends,
family, and fellow soldiers of Sgt. Johnston," Governor Cuomo said. "His
death is a reminder of the sacrifices members of the military make to
protect the freedoms and the values that this state and this nation were
Sgt. James G. Johnston was assigned to the 79th Ordnance Battalion
(Explosive Ordnance Disposal), a part of the 71st Ordnance Group at Fort
Hood, Texas. Sgt. Johnston was one of two Soldiers who died of wounds
sustained from small arms fire during combat operations.
Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags at New York State facilities
be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service
members who are killed in combat or die in a combat zone.
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF MARINE CORPS RESERVISTS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government
buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of two Marine Corps
Reservists who were killed in Parwan Province, Afghanistan on April 8.
Flags will be lowered from today until their interment.
Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, Nassau County, and Staff
Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, who was a 15-year member of the
FDNY, stationed at Ladder Company 23 in the South Bronx, were killed in
an improvised explosive device attack while conducting combat operations
along with a third Marine, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York,
All were members of the 25th Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of two members of the family of New
York, Cpl. Hendriks and FDNY member Staff Sgt. Slutman, while they were
serving our country in Afghanistan," Governor Cuomo said. "Their deaths
are a tragic reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our service
members, who put their lives in harm's way to protect our values and way
of life. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences to their
friends and loved ones, and I am directing that flags be lowered in
Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all State buildings be
lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service
members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die
in a combat zone.
GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF
DOT MAINTENANCE WORKER MATT HOWE
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags to half-staff on all State
government buildings in honor of New York Department of Transportation
Maintenance Worker Dennis (Matt) Howe of Owego, Tioga County, who died
from injuries sustained last Wednesday when a tractor trailer collided
with a DOT truck in the work zone March 13 in Tioga County. Flags will
be flown at half-staff beginning today, March 19, until interment.
"I am saddened by the loss of Matt Howe, a dedicated public servant and
Department of Transportation employee, who passed away last night due to
injuries from when a tractor trailer collided with a DOT truck in the
"Since 2006, Matt served DOT Region 9 and the people of the State of New
York honorably. As a maintenance worker, he was a jack of all trades
who was always eager to lend a hand to the team.
"His death is a tragic reminder of the dangers our workers face every
day braving the elements and our roadways, all while looking out for the
safety of one another. There is nothing routine about what our
maintenance forces do to keep New York's highways safe, and we have zero
tolerance for anyone who flagrantly puts the lives and safety of our
workers in jeopardy. This year I called for stricter protections<https: www.governor.ny.gov="" news="" governor-cuomo-announces-fy-2020-executive-budget-will-strengthen-protections-against-assault=""> for transportation workers to send a clear message that New York stands with our workers.
"In honor of Matt Howe and his service to the people of New York, I am
directing that flags be flown at half-staff across this great state. On
behalf of the entire family of New York, I extend my deepest condolences
to his friends, colleagues and the loved ones he leaves behind."</https:>