Why are flags at half-staff today?

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The American flag is flown at half-staff in honor of former Secretary of State Colin Powell at the U.S. Capitol on October 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(KDVR) – Flags will be flown at half-staff across the country Friday to honor the life of General Colin Powell.

Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away Oct. 18 due to complications from COVID-19.

In a statement released on Facebook, Powell’s family said he was fully vaccinated.

“We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the Powell family said.

President Joe Biden announced the proclamation following Powell’s death. He released this statement from the White House:

General Colin Powell was a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity.  The son of immigrants, born in New York City, raised in Harlem and the South Bronx, a graduate of the City College of New York, he rose to the highest ranks of the United States military and to advise four Presidents.  He believed in the promise of America because he lived it.  And he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others.  He embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat.  He led with his personal commitment to the democratic values that make our country strong.  He repeatedly broke racial barriers, blazing a trail for others to follow, and was committed throughout his life to investing in the next generation of leadership.  Colin Powell was a good man who I was proud to call my friend, and he will be remembered in history as one of our great Americans.

President Joe Biden

Flags will 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 Friday.

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