Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of Victims of Schoharie Crash


Flags to Be Flown at Half-Staff Beginning on Thursday, October 11 Until Interment

Governor Cuomo: “The entire family of New York mourns for the lives cut short in this crash. In memory of those who were taken from us, I am directing that flags be lowered to half-staff.”

“In the wake of the Schoharie crash, it is hard to fathom the extent of this tragedy. We lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters, brothers and friends, and the community will never be the same.

“The entire family of New York mourns for the lives cut short in this crash. In memory of those who were taken from us, I am directing that flags be lowered to half-staff.

“Some of those who tragically died were among our family of State employees, including Justice Center employee Amy King Steenburg, SUNY Oswego professor Brian Hough, and Patrick Cushing, a New York State Senate employee. On behalf of the State of New York, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of all of those lost, their loved ones and coworkers in this incredibly difficult time.”



Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that flags on state government buildings will be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 11 in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

“Nearly 17 years ago, New York was dealt a blow so devastating that the loss and suffering are still felt to this day. On September 11, 2001, the lives of countless Americans were forever changed in an instant as thousands of innocent men, women, and children perished in the deadliest terror attack this nation has ever seen.

“We will never forget these individuals and the selfless heroes who did not make it home that day. Today, we honor those we lost and thank the brave law enforcement officers, firefighters, medical professionals and other first responders who saved so many lives in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. We also remember the courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces including the New York National Guard who protected our freedom then and continue to do so now at home and abroad, New York is eternally grateful for their service to our nation.”


Governor Cuomo Directs Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff in honor of Senator John McCain

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Senator John McCain from Sunday until his funeral.

The 81-year-old senator from Arizona and former presidential candidate died at his home on Saturday after a battle with brain cancer.

The Governor also releasing this statement:

“At a time of political division and hostility, Senator McCain was a maverick. While I did not always agree with his positions, he was a public servant who indisputably aimed to put country over party.

“John McCain championed bipartisan efforts to implement campaign finance reform and build a fairer immigration system. And his historic vote to save the Affordable Care Act — with a memorable thumbs down — protected health care for millions of Americans.

“It was not just his well-known heroism in the Vietnam War, and the extraordinary ordeal he endured as a prisoner of war. John McCain gave his life in service to this nation, exemplifying all that we admire in a hero.

“He was a warrior and a statesman, in the old-fashioned sense. In his own way, he spoke truth to power. He criticized Republicans and Democrats alike. John McCain criticized all of us. Because in his mind, those of us who are privileged to hold public office can never work hard enough for the people of this country. He was right.

“Near the end of his commencement address in Annapolis last year, he urged his young audience to avoid a ‘polarized politics, which exaggerates our differences’ and ‘looks for scapegoats instead of answers.’ He knew war, and he knew politics, and he knew that they did not have to resemble each other as much as they do — a sentiment remembered by too few at a time when we should all recommit ourselves to putting country over partisan politics.

“In honor of John McCain, one of our nation’s finest public servants — a Republican who loved this Republic and a democrat — who stood for the best of democracy — I direct New York State’s flags be flown at half staff.  A small gesture for one of America’s giants. Godspeed, Senator McCain.”


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of New York State Police Trooper Nicholas F. Clark, who died in the line of duty today in Steuben County. They will be lowered until Trooper Clark’s interment. Earlier today, Governor Cuomo met with state troopers and local law enforcement to receive a briefing on Trooper Clark’s death.

The following remarks were made during the briefing:

First Deputy Superintendent Fiore: Good afternoon. I am First Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Police Chris Fiore. We will hear shortly from Governor Andrew Cuomo but I will first provide an update on this morning’s tragic event based on the information that we currently have. This morning at approximately 3:30 a.m. members of the New York State Police, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and the Corning Police Department responded to a call of a suicidal subject barricaded at his resident in the town of Erwin, Steuben County. During the course of the response, Trooper Nicholas Clark was shot and killed by the suspect. The suspect was later found deceased in the residence from an apparent gunshot wound.

Trooper Clark, who was 29 years old, lived in Troupsburg, New York. He graduated from the 203rd Session of the State Police Basic School in September of 2015. He was presently assigned to SP Bath, Troop E. He is survived by his mother, father, and brother, who have all been notified. This is a terrible loss for the New York State Police and our thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Clark and his family.

The incident remains under investigation, and State Police will make additional information available as it comes in. I would now like to hand it over to Governor Cuomo. Thank you.

Governor Cuomo: Thank you. I want to thank the First Deputy Superintendent Chris Fiore for his good work. Field Commander Stephen Smith, Richard Allen, who is the Troop Major for Troop E. Thank you and we’re sorry for your loss and all the colleagues of Trooper Clark. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard, I want to thank him for his partnership with the State Police but especially for their help and assistance during this situation. After Trooper Clark was hit with gunfire, Deputy Sheriff put his own life in danger to pull Trooper Clark to a position of safety. To the Clark family, to his mother, his father, his brother, we hope you find peace in this senseless act of violence. A 29-year-old trooper, a stellar trooper with an extraordinary record, his whole life before him. Great athlete. Well accomplished. He wanted to do one thing which was help people. And help public service and that’s what the New York State Police afford, an opportunity to give back to your community, to help your community. To help other families. Situation like this makes no sense. On any side, the loss of life—29-year-old with his whole life ahead of him. Was just trying to help and do good things. As Governor, you deal with a lot of different situations. Some almost unimaginable. Especially in these difficult times. This is one situation that I’ve gone through before, the state police have gone through before, 13 troopers lost in 5 years. There’s no answer. There’s no point. It’s just sad and painful.

To the State Police and to all police officers in this state—I want them to know that every person in the State of New York has nothing but respect for them, trust in them, and love for them and their families. We know the danger that you put yourself in every day when you leave the house. We know the fear that is in your families’ heart when you’re out there. And we truly and deeply appreciate the risk that you take to keep our families safe. And everything the police do nowadays is dangerous. Whether it’s a traffic stop or a domestic violence incident or a storm or a hurricane or a possible terrorist activity, it’s all dangerous because these are frightening times. And in many ways, we need our police officers and public protectors more than ever.

Again, to the Clark family, you’re in our thoughts, you’re in our prayers. To the colleagues of Trooper Clark, you’re in our thoughts and in our prayers. To the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, thank you for being there, thank you for the courage that you showed in trying to be helpful. And we will go forward together and understand that this is the risk that public service for law enforcement officers pose.

Flags to half-staff May 15, 2018 in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day

Flags to half-staff: Sunrise, Tuesday May 15, 2018
Flags to full staff: Sunset, Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Peace Officers Memorial Day is an observance in the United States that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died in the line of duty.

President Donald J. Trump on Flying the Flag at Half-Staff for the Passing of Barbara Bush

On this solemn day, we mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, an outstanding and memorable woman of character.  As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family.  Mrs. Bush lived a life that reminds us always to cherish our relationships with friends, family, and all acquaintances.  In the spirit of the memory of Mrs. Bush, may we always remember to be kind to one another and to put the care of others first.

As a mark of respect for the memory of Barbara Bush, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

Flags to half-staff:  Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Flags returned to full-staff:  Sunset, day of interment.  We will send a notification once that date is determined.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter on Friday, March 23, the day of her funeral.

“The New York family continues to mourn the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter,” Governor Cuomo said. “She was a champion for our state who fought tirelessly for the Rochester area, and her remarkable legacy will carry on for generations to come. I ask all New Yorkers to join me in honoring the memory of a trailblazer who set an example for others to follow.”


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Monday, March 19 to honor the four New York National Guard members who were killed when a helicopter they were flying crashed in Iraq on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the friends and family of these courageous New York National Guard members,” Governor Cuomo said. “We join their loved ones and fellow service members in honoring the sacrifice they have made, so that others may live free in New York and across the entire nation.”

The four New York Air National Guard members, assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing, were stationed at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach. The service members were killed, along with three others, when their HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter crashed near the city of Qaim in Iraq. There is no evidence of enemy action involved in the crash and the incident is under investigation, according to the Department of Defense.

Members of the New York National Guard killed in the crash were:

  • Capt. Christopher Zanetis, from Long Island City
  • Capt. Andreas O’Keeffe, from Center Moriches
  • Master Sgt. Christopher Raguso, from Commack
  • Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs, from Port JeffersonThe 106th Rescue Wing specializes in air, land and sea rescue of pilots and other military personnel. The 106th Rescue Wing personnel were operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the American led coalition operation to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“It is with great sadness that I report the loss of four of our wing members,” said Col. Michael Bank, the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing. “All four of these heroes served their nation and community. Our sincerest condolences and sympathies to the families and friends that have been touched by this tragic event.”

“Our National Guard family mourns the loss of the seven combat search and rescue Airmen in the HH-60 crash, including four members from the 106th Rescue Wing,” said Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General of New York. “This loss reminds us of the tremendous risks we take in serving our nation every day. We honor their service, their professionalism, and their sacrifice as we mourn their loss.”


New York Governor Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 in honor of Army Sgt. First Class Maitland Wilson, a Brooklyn resident, who died in Landsthul Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany on March 7, 2018.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and fellow service members of Army Sgt. First Class Maitland Wilson,” Governor Cuomo said. “We join his loved ones in honoring his service and his sacrifice to this great nation.”

Wilson, aged 38, died as the result of a non-combat incident which is under investigation. He was assigned to the 831st Transportation Battalion of the 595 Transportation Brigade stationed in Manama, Bahrain, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve missions in Iraq and Syria.

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.



President Trump issued a proclamation Thursday mourning the victims of the deadly shooting at a Florida high school — ordering American flags to be flown at half-staff.

“Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida,” the proclamation reads.

“As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff,” it continues.

The proclamation calls on all public buildings, military facilities, diplomatic sites, naval vessels and other locations to fly their flags at half-staff through Monday.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff today, February 15, until sunset on Monday, February 19, in conjunction with a federal proclamation, to honor the victims of the Florida school shooting.

Earlier today, Governor Cuomo released the following statement:

“Once again, this nation sheds its tears for young lives cut short by senseless gun violence. But tears are not enough. The horrific school shooting in Florida is the deadliest since Sandy Hook, and it serves as yet another painful and infuriating reminder of the inaction in Washington.

“How many more children must die before this nation acts? How many more times must we grieve before politicians put the safety of their communities before the financial contributions of special interest groups?

“In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, New York did more than send our thoughts and prayers. We stepped up to pass the strongest gun safety legislation in the nation. The SAFE Act didn’t affect sportsmen, hunters or legal gun owners—but it reduced the risk to our children, to our families and to our communities. It banned assault weapons like AR-15s and kept guns out of the hands of dangerously mentally ill people. It’s far past time that the rest of the nation follows suit.”


Niagara Falls and Peace Bridge to be Illuminated in Blue for Fallen Officer

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, October 25 to honor Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner, who died in the line of duty while training with the underwater recovery team. To commemorate the life of Officer Lehner, the Peace Bridge and Niagara Falls in Western New York will also be illuminated blue on Wednesday evening.

“This exceptional law enforcement officer, who was taken from us far too soon, will always be remembered in Western New York and beyond,” Governor Cuomo said. “The family of New York grieves for Officer Craig Lehner, who devoted his life to serving and protecting the people of this state, and asks that everyone keep his loved ones and colleagues in their prayers during this difficult time.”

“On behalf of our deeply saddened community and state, and as a fellow resident of Buffalo, I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Officer Lehner, a true hometown hero,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “His death is a reminder of the daily dangers that law enforcement face in the line of duty. His selfless service to country and community touches all of us in Buffalo and beyond.”

At 34-years-old, Officer Lehner was a nine-year veteran of the Buffalo Police Department. In addition to serving on the department’s underwater recovery team, Lehner worked as a K-9 officer with his partner Shield, a 4-year-old German shepherd. Lehner also served as an Army National Guard military police officer for 16 years, assigned to the 105th military Police Company at Masten Armory in Buffalo. A staff sergeant, he was deployed to Iraq in 2011 and served at Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba in 2014 until 2015. During his time in the service, he was awarded more than a dozen medals, including the Army Commendation Medal, Air Assault Badge, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and five Army Achievement Medals.

On the day Officer Lehner is laid to rest, the Peace Bridge will be illuminated in blue along the bridge arches, truss, and spine. The lights will commence at dusk on Wednesday, October 25 and will continue until 1 a.m. The 176-foot Niagara Falls will also be awash in blue light for 15 minutes, at the top of every hour, from 7 – 11 p.m. to commemorate the life of Officer Craig Lehner.


Effective:  Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Return to Full Staff:  Thursday, October 26, 2017


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff today, October 2, until sunset on October 6, in conjunction with a federal proclamation, to honor the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

“Once again the nation mourns in the wake of yet another senseless and horrific mass shooting. New York stands with Las Vegas in the aftermath of this heinous and vile act of gun violence and my heart aches for its victims and their loved ones on this darkest of days.

“I have directed flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff in the memory of the innocent lives lost and the others irreparably altered by this act of mass murder. How many more times must we see the effects of gun violence and feel the devastating effects of these shootings before we act as a country and as a people?

“While facts continue to be gathered, I have directed additional security measures at key points around the state as a precaution. The safety of New Yorkers and our visitors is our number one priority, and we are remaining vigilant and in close contact with local and federal officials and our partner law enforcement agencies.”


Effective:  Beginning of Business, Monday, October 2, 2017

Return to Full Staff:  Sunset, Friday, October 6, 2017