The+United+States+and+California+state+flags+are+lowered+to+half-staff+on+a+breezeless+Thursday+Feb.+25%2C+joining+flags+nationwide+in+memorial+to+those+who+have+died+of+COVID-19.+

Leah Cooper/Guest Photographer

The United States and California state flags are lowered to half-staff on a breezeless Thursday Feb. 25, joining flags nationwide in memorial to those who have died of COVID-19.

Flags lowered to half-staff as America mourns 500,000 deaths

Northgate joined the nation this week in quiet mourning of the more than a half-million people who have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

All flags on public and federal grounds have been ordered to be flown at half-staff until Friday March 26 at sundown, including the flag at the front entrance to campus.

On Feb. 23, the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus in just under a year since the first lockdown orders. President Joe Biden ordered flags nationwide to be flown at half-mast as a tribute to all the lives claimed by the virus. 

“We, as a Nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one Nation to defeat this pandemic,” Biden said in an official statement. 

The national loss of life is about one-fifth of that worldwide. As the pandemic ticks on and more lives are lost, communities, nations, and the world mourns the 2.5 million global deaths COVID has sprung about.

Like Biden, Northgate Principal Kelly Cooper noted the toll and impact of the coronavirus. 

“By now, with 500,000 lives lost to this virus, everyone has known someone affected by COVID, and many of us have lost someone we love. It is mind-boggling to look back to where we were a year ago today, and all that has been lost,” Cooper said. “Lowering our flag is a sobering reminder of how hard COVID-19 has hit our communities, and the communities across America.”

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Flags lowered to half-staff as America mourns 500,000 deaths