Flags to fly at half-staff twice over Memorial Day weekend

Stock photo, U.S. flag at half-staff
Stock photo, U.S. flag at half-staff(MGN)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:18 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Flags will fly at half-staff twice over the Memorial Day weekend to honor those who died fighting to protect United States.

On Saturday, they will be at half-staff to pay tribute to U.S. Navy Seaman Second Class David Joseph Riley, who died in the Pearl Harbor attack. His remains were recently identified, and he will be buried with full military honors in Juda, on Saturday, May 27, according to the governor’s office.

“The attack on Pearl Harbor changed the trajectory of World War II and our state and country, taking the lives of more than 50 Wisconsinites, including Navy Seaman Second Class Riley,” Gov. Evers said in a statement announcing his executive order. “On behalf of his home state, we honor him for his service and sacrifice to this nation and the values we hold dear.”

Riley was serving on the U.S.S. Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, when the battleship was sunk during the attack. After initial attempts to identify some sailors killed that day failed, a new initiative in 2015 determined one of the bodies was Riley. Riley was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the American Campaign medial, and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal.

Two days later, on Memorial Day, Wisconsin and Americans across the nation will honor all veterans who died while defending their country.

A second executive order issued by Evers on Friday directed flags to be lowered to half-staff on Memorial Day.

“Today, we honor and remember those brave and selfless service members, soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who laid down their lives in defense of our nation and our shared values,” Evers said in a separate statement announcing the new executive order. “Today, we also remember and offer our support to the family members and loved ones they left behind.”

On Saturday, flags will be at half-staff from sunrise to sunset, while on Memorial Day, they will return to full staff at noon.

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