Flags flying at half-staff for Memorial Day and to remember coronavirus victims

American flag above Brooks Nature Park flies at half-staff on May 23, 2020 in St. George, Utah. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In coordination with President Donald Trump’s proclamation, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has ordered the lowering of the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of Utah on Sunday and Monday.

American flag above Brooks Nature Park flies at half-staff on May 23, 2020 in St. George, Utah. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The flags will be lowered this weekend through sundown Sunday to honor the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We join with the entire country in paying our respects to those who have lost their lives in this deadly pandemic,” Herbert said in a statement. “As we fight this virus together, let us remember those who have passed, those who are struggling with the disease, and the healthcare heroes who make daily sacrifices to provide the best treatment to those who are suffering.”

As of Saturday, John Hopkins University said 96,662 people nationwide have lost their lives in a little less than four months to the pandemic – That is around 30,000 more people than Americans killed in the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War combined. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is around 60,000 more than the average number of people who die from influenza in 12 months.

The Utah Department of Health reported on Saturday the 96th death in the state from the virus, while four people in Southern Utah have lost their lives. Three of those deaths have been in Washington County, where cases have gone up 484% in the last month.

Flags will be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and public grounds until sunset on Sunday. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time.

Graves are decorated at the St. George City Cemetery on Memorial Day during the ceremony at the St. George City Cemetery in St. George, Utah, Monday, May 28, 2018 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

Additionally, Herbert has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at all state office buildings from sunrise until noon on Monday in honor of Memorial Day and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who gave their lives in the service of our country.

The governor also called on Utahns to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and ask that all Utahns come together for a shared moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“While the ceremonies and our tributes to the fallen may look different this year due to coronavirus, our enduring respect and gratitude for their sacrifice remains unchanged,” Herbert said.

Flags will be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and public grounds from sunrise until noon on Monday, before being raised to full-staff. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the customary forenoon period.

Utahns are asked to adhere to their local health and safety guidelines and maintain physical distancing while visiting cemeteries and war memorials during Memorial Day weekend. When possible, visitors are urged to consider visiting Saturday or Sunday to avoid possible crowds on Memorial Day.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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