Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff throughout the State of Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 18 to honor the lives of eight firefighters who have died in the line of duty in 2020 and 2021, including those who have died of COVID-19. The flag honors will coincide with the Bureau of Fire Services Statewide Memorial Saturday, Sept. 18.
Among the firefighters honored are Grant Township Fire Deptartment Firefighter Michael Buitendorp and Fire Chief Roland Brooks, both who passed away late last year.
“Michigan’s firefighters courageously put their life on the line each and every day to serve our communities,” said Whitmer. “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 Sunday, Sept. 19 to recognize former Staff Sergeant Natalie Barajas. Flags should be returned to full-staff Monday, Sept. 20.