Flags lowered to half staff in respect for the half million lost to COVID-19
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In a memorandum issued yesterday, Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga ordered flags in the territory to be flown at half-staff, until sunset on Friday, Feb. 26th, “as a mark of solemn respect and remembrance of the 500,000 American lives lost due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
“As we reflect on the loss of life and the impact on the affected survivors, let us take a moment to be grateful to the Lord’s continued protection and blessings on our Territory,” Lemanu said, as American Samoa remains the only US jurisdiction without a COVID-19 case, although there are individuals of Samoan ancestry that reside in the US and have passed away due to the deadly pandemic.
The governor’s memo is pursuant to US President Joe Biden’s Feb. 22nd Proclamation on “Remembering the 500,000 Americans lost to COVID-19”. The Biden proclamation notes that as of this week during the dark winter of the COVID-19, more than 500,000 Americans have died form the virus.
And that is more Americans who have died in a single year of this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. “On this solemn occasion, we reflect on their loss and on their loved ones left behind,” the proclamation says. “We, as a Nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one Nation to defeat this pandemic.”
Early Monday evening in Washington D.C. the President, was joined by the Vice President for a moment of silence service at the Cross Hall of the White House, saying that “as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived. They’re people we knew; they’re people we feel like we knew.”
“While we have been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or a blur or on the news,” Biden said, in an address covered by the international news outlets. “And we must do so to honor the dead, but equally important, care for the living and those left behind.”
Complete text of Biden’s address is on White House website [www.whitehouse.gov]