Why are Flags Half-Mast in New York This Week?
You may be wondering why flags are flying half-staff in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State this week.
Deciding to fly a flag at half-mast is a strictly regulated process. While some local municipalities maintain control over how flags are flown in their jurisdiction, it's the State of New York or the federal government that usually decides to honor a solemn occasion by directing flags to be flown at half-staff.
According to the State of New York, flags at individual schools, counties, towns, or other organizations and municipalities are under the supervision and control of the locality in which they reside. However, most of these local governments usually follow the lead of state and federal governments.
There are only four permanent occasions during the year when the flag is directed to be flown at half-staff. Those dates are Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) and September 11, known as Patriot Day.
This week Governor Hochul has directed flags to be flown at half-staff on Thursday, June 15 and Friday, June 16 to honor Captain Christopher J. Garrow who passed away on Monday.
Captain Garrow died at the age of 47 from an illness that resulted from exposure to the World Trade Center site during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The Peru, New York native served as the New York State Police officer for 23 years. A similar situation caused flags to be lowered two months ago. In April, Governor Hocul ordered flags at half mast for two days after Retired Investigator Patrick J. Hogan died from a similar 9/11-related illness.
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