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Thread: Flags at half staff

  1. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeHappens View Post
    I am not saying the flag should not be lowered, I am just wondering what the guidelines are. Just my natural curiosity.
    Maybe I misunderstood your question; I thought you said you read the guidelines but just wanted to discuss them more ... in terms of official government guidelines I'm guessing it would be the Flag Code. But when it comes to private citizens/businesses, anyone can fly the flag at half staff for any reason they want.

    I worked a case in the southern part of a southern state where there was a shooting between two rival gangs in a "bar" not a night club or concert hall, but a true bar. Because the doorman did a crappy job of keeping the firearms out of the bar, (yes, this bar specifically had a doorman to check patrons for firearms with handheld metal detectors, traditional pat downs and bag checks) there were more handguns in the place than one can imagine. So many that it was impossible for a reconstructionist to be sure who fired from where. Dozens of people went to the hospital, multiple people were killed.
    No flags at half staff. Not all people were local but I don't know if any were outside the USA.

    Did any of those deaths impact the guy next door more/less than the death of a famous person? Are we really impacted when a famous person dies if we did not know them? I think of that commercial about Millie Dresselhaus.

    (If these stats are accurate) 3,287 people die in car wrecks each day around the globe. There was no reason for them to die. They come from different cities, states and countries. There are people mourning them around the globe each day.
    No lowered flags.

    Road Crash Statistics
    In terms of the bolded, isn't impacting people who don't know them pretty much the definition of a famous person? I'm not familiar with the commercial but I would be hard pressed to say that not knowing someone means their death isn't impactful ... I have seen (what I believe to be) genuine emotional reactions to the deaths of famous people like Robin Williams, David Bowie, like I said earlier Whitney Houston, etc. Don't think flags were flown at half mast for all of them but again - I also don't think that means any of their deaths were more important than anyone else's.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by LifeHappens View Post
    I am not saying the flag should not be lowered, I am just wondering what the guidelines are. Just my natural curiosity.

    I worked a case in the southern part of a southern state where there was a shooting between two rival gangs in a "bar" not a night club or concert hall, but a true bar. Because the doorman did a crappy job of keeping the firearms out of the bar, (yes, this bar specifically had a doorman to check patrons for firearms with handheld metal detectors, traditional pat downs and bag checks) there were more handguns in the place than one can imagine. So many that it was impossible for a reconstructionist to be sure who fired from where. Dozens of people went to the hospital, multiple people were killed.
    No flags at half staff. Not all people were local but I don't know if any were outside the USA.

    Did any of those deaths impact the guy next door more/less than the death of a famous person? Are we really impacted when a famous person dies if we did not know them? I think of that commercial about Millie Dresselhaus.

    (If these stats are accurate) 3,287 people die in car wrecks each day around the globe. There was no reason for them to die. They come from different cities, states and countries. There are people mourning them around the globe each day.
    No lowered flags.

    Road Crash Statistics
    By that logic the flag would literally always be at half mast.
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    #13

    Suspicious Disrespect, no. Shock, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post

    I will take you at your word when you say you don't mean to be disrespectful, but contrasting the death of someone who was gunned down in a public place minding their own business vs. someone who "died defending our freedom" very much sounds like a value statement and if I were personally closer to the tragedy in Vegas I would probably be upset by that.

    Disrespect, no. Shock, yes.

    I don't know if anyone read my post on 10-03-2017 01:55 AM post #55 under "Shooting in Vegas" about my plans to celebrate my 1st wedding anniversary had my DH not had his deployment extended AGAIN but I got married in Vegas a year ago 10/3. We had plans to go back to Vegas this year, Sept 30th-Oct. 7th. We would have been back at the Cosmopolitan Hotel where we got married. We would have been at the concert that night. I would have been enjoying the music, I can sing along to almost all of Jason's songs. My DH prefers classical but has become very familiar with country and classic rock over the 9 years together.)

    My intent was not disrespect, as I hope was clear. It is still rather shocking to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by LifeHappens View Post
    They say things happen for a reason.
    A year ago today (10/3) I got married in Las Vegas. The plan was to go back this year.

    We would be back at the Cosmopolitan, great suite with a nice balcony so you can go out and watch/listen to the fountain at The Bellagio. Plans were to fly in on Saturday 9/30 and stay for the week. (Since it took us almost a decade from dating the 2nd time around to getting married we plan to redo a ceremony of some kind each year, somewhere.) This year was going to be Las Vegas minus the stress of last year (and maybe a bit more Elvis!) Eloping is more stressful than you think!

    But for this never ending deployment, we would have been at the Jason Aldean concert.

    We would have been near the back to avoid the crowd and I am sure we would have been fine, but it is ironic that my DH would have survived another deployment unharmed and come home to be at a mass shooting in Vegas while we were celebrating our first anniversary.

    He sent an email last night saying "we are supposed to be in Vegas right now not across the globe from each other." That was just before it happened. The email today was a bit different. I did get to video chat with him so that was nice.
    I have been a bit disappointed knowing we would be apart today but now it is more complicated, emotionally. Weird day so far and only a few hours old.

    DH would have been really helpful in that situation for others, he never panics. He stays calms and just problem solves and does what needs to be done.

    If anyone here knows a victim or their friend/family, they have my deepest sympathy.
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    #14

    live and learn

    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    I have seen (what I believe to be) genuine emotional reactions to the deaths of famous people like Robin Williams, David Bowie, like I said earlier Whitney Houston, etc. Don't think flags were flown at half mast for all of them but again - I also don't think that means any of their deaths were more important than anyone else's.

    I guess that is the part I am misunderstanding. My assumption was that the lowering of the flag was to show greater importance or impact of the death(s).
    I know there has to be some distinction to avoid it staying at half staff all the time. I get the standard "principal figures of the United States Government, dignitaries and leading citizens", I guess I have just never quite figured out exactly what the "recognized customs" are.
    Live and learn.

    https://www.senate.gov/reference/res...df/RL30243.pdf
    USFlag.org: A website dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America - Flag Etiquette
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LifeHappens View Post
    Disrespect, no. Shock, yes.

    I don't know if anyone read my post on 10-03-2017 01:55 AM post #55 under "Shooting in Vegas" about my plans to celebrate my 1st wedding anniversary had my DH not had his deployment extended AGAIN but I got married in Vegas a year ago 10/3. We had plans to go back to Vegas this year, Sept 30th-Oct. 7th. We would have been back at the Cosmopolitan Hotel where we got married. We would have been at the concert that night. I would have been enjoying the music, I can sing along to almost all of Jason's songs. My DH prefers classical but has become very familiar with country and classic rock over the 9 years together.)

    My intent was not disrespect, as I hope was clear. It is still rather shocking to me.
    Making tragedies about yourself is kind of disrespectful as well imo. It doesn't really matter if you maybe would've been there, you weren't there, it isn't about you.
  6. I've got 32 flavors of that bootylicious bubblegum.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Making tragedies about yourself is kind of disrespectful as well imo. It doesn't really matter if you maybe would've been there, you weren't there, it isn't about you.
    holy crap, yes.


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    #17

    thanks.

    Wasn't a maybe.
    And as I said, I am sure we would have been fine but if that isn't supposed to impact me, then my bad. It did.
    If you can truthfully say that it would not bother you- I accept that. We are clearly different people.

    Things like that just make you realize that getting depressed and upset over your DH being gone when you have to deal with the difficult and sucky parts of real life --for me it was the the death of a 20 year old furry child (I was unable to have children) and the death of his grandmother 2 weeks later and a 1st anniv alone-- isn't worth the upset. Even if he is gone during the tough times and there have been many (as I am sure you have all been through) I will try to focus on how grateful I am that for today he was safe and not how difficult today may have been for me. Events like Vegas do put things into perspective, let me rephrase, it did for me due to the circumstances of my anniversary plans. Hopefully he will be home next Oct. for Vegas as we are going to renew our vows each year (or at least each year he is not OCONUS).
    Sometimes them being gone just stinks. That is why I am glad to have found a place where people understand the emotional toll it takes on those of us who are awaiting the return of our SO who are once again, deployed and in harm's way. My DH always reminds me that driving around town the day before he deploys is dangerous too. Somehow it just seems different.
    Thanks for your understanding.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by LifeHappens View Post
    Wasn't a maybe.
    And as I said, I am sure we would have been fine but if that isn't supposed to impact me, then my bad. It did.
    If you can truthfully say that it would not bother you- I accept that. We are clearly different people.

    Things like that just make you realize that getting depressed and upset over your DH being gone when you have to deal with the difficult and sucky parts of real life --for me it was the the death of a 20 year old furry child (I was unable to have children) and the death of his grandmother 2 weeks later and a 1st anniv alone-- isn't worth the upset. Even if he is gone during the tough times and there have been many (as I am sure you have all been through) I will try to focus on how grateful I am that for today he was safe and not how difficult today may have been for me. Events like Vegas do put things into perspective, let me rephrase, it did for me due to the circumstances of my anniversary plans. Hopefully he will be home next Oct. for Vegas as we are going to renew our vows each year (or at least each year he is not OCONUS).
    Sometimes them being gone just stinks. That is why I am glad to have found a place where people understand the emotional toll it takes on those of us who are awaiting the return of our SO who are once again, deployed and in harm's way. My DH always reminds me that driving around town the day before he deploys is dangerous too. Somehow it just seems different.
    Thanks for your understanding.
    I'm not saying you can't have feelings about the shooting, I'd be freaked out in that situation as well because it makes it hit closer to home. I just think it's pretty grossly disrespectful to say "well I would've been there" as a way to qualify yourself to make another disrespectful statement, which is what you were doing when you brought it up.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I'm not saying you can't have feelings about the shooting, I'd be freaked out in that situation as well because it makes it hit closer to home. I just think it's pretty grossly disrespectful to say "well I would've been there" as a way to qualify yourself to make another disrespectful statement, which is what you were doing when you brought it up.
    I agree. You can have feelings about an event, without making it about you or saying you would've been fine. Who knows if you would've been?? Not everyone can outrun a madman. To assume you could have is disrespectful to those who lost their lives.

    Also, just because there are tragedies in this world, doesn't mean you can't mourn a pet loss or a family member. One loss doesn't trump another.
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    #20

    Mea Culpa

    I wasn't looking for "cover" - didn't know I needed it.
    Neither was intended to be disrespectful, just my personal thoughts
    I guess I should have kept those to myself.
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