This year in the United States, 77 Firefighters lost their lives, including 19 firefighters in an Arizona wildfire. To honor America’s fallen firefighters, President Obama has ordered the flag of the United States to 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 from sunrise to sunset on 10-06-2013. President Obama has issued a proclamation to fly the American Flag at half-staff sunrise to sunset 10-06-2013.
It is recommended that all US citizens:
• Fly the US flag at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on October 6th, 2013. For U.S. flags displayed on a short staff or for indoor flags that cannot be lowered to half-staff, place a Black Mourning Ribbon Above the full staffed U.S. flag.
• With a telescoping pole it is acceptable to put the USA flag on the second set of rings instead of the top set. In this case the top set would be left empty.
• When the United States flag is flown at half-staff, state & other flags should be removed or flown at half-staff as well
The correct procedure for displaying the flag at half-staff is to raise the flag to the top of the pole briskly, pause for a moment, and then slowly bring it down to where the top of the flag is at a position approximately halfway between the top and bottom of the pole. At the end of the day, the flag should be raised briskly to the top of the pole, then lowered slowly and ceremoniously retired for the day (unless illuminated at night).
An excerpt of President Obama’s proclamation is below:
Fires take more American lives than all other natural disasters combined. They inflict devastating tolls on families and communities, and they cost our Nation billions of dollars each year. During Fire Prevention Week, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to pull their neighbors out of harm’s way, and pledge to do our part to prevent fires in our homes, our cities, and the great outdoors.
We all have a responsibility to protect our families against fire. We should be cautious while cooking, using electrical appliances, and heating our homes. Those who live in areas prone to wildfires can help safeguard their homes by clearing flammable vegetation, and they should plan for emergencies by building a supply kit and talking with their families about a communications plan and evacuation routes. Every American should install working smoke detectors on each level of their home and remember to test them monthly. It is also essential to develop and practice evacuation plans twice a year. Because fire spreads rapidly and poisonous, disorienting smoke moves even quicker, families should design plans that allow for the quickest possible exit. To learn more about taking precautions against fires, visit www.Ready.gov.
By preventing fires, we can both protect our loved ones and keep America’s firefighters out of unnecessary danger. To save people they have never met, these skilled professionals battle walls of flame, put themselves in the paths of unpredictable wildfires, and rush into houses on the verge of collapse. This week, as we renew our commitment to fire safety, we thank these courageous first responders for their service and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty..