Today, in honor of National Peace Officers Memorial Day Congressman John B. Larson announced he will reintroduce legislation in the 113th Congress to allow the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff following the death of a first responder in the line of duty. Current law allows for the flag to be flown at half-staff for any member of the Armed Forces and present or former government officials.
"In the last six months alone our first responders have shown unparalleled bravery and heroism protecting our communities," said Congressman Larson. "Far too often these men and women make the ultimate sacrifice to keep each of us safe. As a nation we owe it to these heroes and their families to honor that sacrifice. That's why I will reintroduce the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act this Congress so that Connecticut and every state has the ability to fly the flag at half-staff for those first responders we have lost."
The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act was originally inspired by Jim McLoughlin of Windsor, a Hartford firefighter and Founder of the National Honor Guard Commanders Association. Mr. McLoughlin previously petitioned Congressman Larson to seek a change to the U.S. Code, Title 4, regulating the use of the American flag. The Act, originally introduced by Larson in the 112th Congress, would amend the Flag Code to permit the Governor of a state or territory to order the American flag to be lowered to half-staff in the event that a first responder from that state dies while in the line of duty.
Each year May 15th marks National Peace Officers Memorial Day during the annual National Police Week. Congress established National Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 to honor federal, state, and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.