Flags are at half-mast in Colorado today...as they have been so often this year
Flags in Colorado will fly at half staff today, as they have been since December 14, to honor the children and adults who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut. They'll be raised again to their full height on Wednesday -- unless of course there is another tragedy, another senseless death in Colorado or elsewhere in the world. And there seems to be a new one of those almost every week.
President Obama and Governor Hickenlooper are the two people who can order that the flags be lowered in Colorado (see the full policy below), and although the state doesn't keep track of how often that happens, it feels like they have been at half mast in 2013 more often than not.
In addition to traditional days like Pearl Harbor Day, Patriot Day and Memorial Day, President Obama has ordered the flags down to honor U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, who was killed in Libya; former Senator Arlen Specter, who died in October; Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who died in August; as well as fallen firefighters and the six people who were shot to death in August at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
They've also flown that way to honor Lakewood police officer James Davies, who was killed in the line of duty on November 9; Sergeant Mary Ricard, who was killed in September on the job at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway; Army Staff Sergeant Christopher J. Birdwell, who was killed Afghanistan; Pueblo County Sheriff's Office Captain Leide William DeFusco, who was killed on duty in September; Colorado Springs Police Officer Matthew Tyner, who was killed in July; Denver police officer Celena Hollis, who was shot in City Park in June; Englewood police officer Jeremy Bitner, who died in May; 1st Lieutenant Alejo R. Thompson, who died in Afghanistan in May; U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jordan L. Bear, who was in March in Afghanistan; and U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Hall, who was killed in Africa in February.
The Aurora shootings included their own full set of flag lowerings. They were lowered every day from July 20 through July 28, and again on August 3 and October 23.
And those are just the ones we could find a record of.
To help, the state keeps a Current Flag Status page on its website and allows people to sign up for email notifications about when the flag is lowered.
Notifications that will have you checking your inbox way too often.
Turn the page to read the full Colorado policy on flag lowerings.