Flags lowered to honor firefighters

Ben Lauren

MARQUETTE — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff throughout the state today to honor the lives of firefighters who have died in the line of duty in 2020 and 2021, including the Forsyth Township Fire Department’s Ben Lauren, who died fighting a fire March 13, 2020.

Those firefighters who have died of COVID-19 also are on the honorees’ list.

The flag honors will coincide with the Bureau of Fire Services Statewide Memorial today.

“Michigan’s firefighters courageously put their life on the line each and every day to serve our communities,” Whitmer said in a release. “The selflessness and dedication of these heroes do not go unnoticed, especially as they worked to protect our state throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we remember these fallen heroes, my thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones.”

The state of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of these fallen firefighters by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.

To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day.

Flags should remain lowered on Sunday to recognize former Staff Sgt. Natalie Barajas of Michigan. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Monday.


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