President Joe Biden issued a proclamation on Feb. 22 ordering the flag of the United States to fly at half-staff from Feb. 22-26 in honor of the 500,000 Americans lost to COVID-19. Of that total, 19,904 lives have been lost in Los Angeles County and 8,108 within the city of Los Angeles.
“More than 500,000 lives taken by COVID-19: it’s a loss that’s almost incomprehensible. Yet behind this number are names; behind these statistics, stories; behind these figures, families missing a loved one at the dinner table and confronting a world now incomplete,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Here in Los Angeles, this merciless virus has extinguished nearly 20,000 souls — the friend or co-worker who greeted you with a smile each morning; the parent who tucked their kids in tight each night; the abuela, the restaurant owner, the barber, the classmate, the very pillars of our communities.
“Every one of them left an imprint on our hearts, and it’s in their honor that we lower our flags tonight. It’s in their memories we must approach the months ahead with a renewed sense of resilience and resolve – because like so much in this unprecedented year, what happens next, how many lives are saved, how many people are vaccinated, how soon we defeat this pandemic, all of it is up to us.
“Let’s mark this somber milestone with solemn reflection,” Garcetti added. “Let’s work to usher in the day when more needless deaths are prevented and flying our flags at half-staff is no longer necessary. Let’s keep marching on the road to healing, health, recovery and rebuilding.”
The city of West Hollywood also lowered the flags at all city facilities, including City Hall.
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