Flags in WA, OR, across US lowered to honor 500,000+ lost to COVID

Flags half-staff
Patrick Semansky

An American flag flies at half-staff in remembrance of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick above the Capitol Building in Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Sicknick died from injuries sustained as President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governors Jay Inslee and Kate Brown on Monday ordered flags flown at half-staff in memory of the more than 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

“We mourn the 500,000 Americans lost to COVID-19. Their loss is felt in empty seats at the table, in the grief of losing a parent, grandparent, friend or a child. While we can’t bring them back, we can honor their memory by doing all we can to make sure that fewer people get sick,” Governor Inslee posted to social media. “The half a million Americans who have died from COVID includes thousands of Washingtonians who are no longer with us. President Biden has ordered flags lowered to honor those we’ve lost, and I hope that you will join me in holding them all in our hearts.

The number of COVID-related deaths in Washington is approaching 5,000.

RELATED: US coronavirus death toll passes 500,000, a once-unthinkable milestone

Flags at all Oregon public institutions are being lowered and will remain at half-staff until sunset on February 26, 2021.

The death toll in the Beaver State includes 2,155 Oregonians.

“Every life lost to COVID-19 is a tragedy,” said Governor Brown. “With more than 500,000 Americans who have died from this virus, there are infinitely more people who are now without a friend, family member, or other loved one. My thoughts are with all those who have lost someone to this disease and, to all Oregonians, I want you to know I remain committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop the spread and save lives. I hope that, as we remember all those we have lost, we collectively continue to help protect each other from this disease.”

RELATED: US deaths surpass 500K, confirming virus’s tragic reach

A full Presidential Proclamation including orders for flags on federal grounds is available on the White House’s website.

RELATED: Tri-Cities COVID hospitalizations are fewest in months