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Why Is The Flag Flying At Half-Staff Today?

GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF STAFF TO HONOR U.S. COAST GUARD LIEUTENANT THOMAS J.E. CROTTY

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on all State government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, November 2, in honor of World War II U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Thomas J.E. Crotty of Buffalo. Lieutenant Crotty was reported MIA and later died at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines in July 1942. His body will be repatriated to the United States and interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Buffalo on November 2.

"We all owe a debt of gratitude to Lieutenant Crotty for his service and making ultimate sacrifice while defending our country to ensure freedom for future generations of New Yorkers," *Governor Cuomo said*. "To honor Lt. Crotty and his legacy as he is finally and rightfully returned home to Buffalo, I am directing flags to half-staff on all State buildings and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I express our sincerest appreciation for his service."

Lieutenant Crotty played a key role in destroying supplies and facilities to prevent them from falling into enemy hands when the U.S. Navy abandoned its main Naval Base in the Philippines following the Japanese invasion in 1941.

Lieutenant Crotty served with the 16th Naval District-in-Shore Patrol Headquarters aboard the USS Quail in the Philippines. When the Japanese invaded the Island of Corregidor in May 1942, Crotty led a team of Marines and Army personnel firing on Japanese soldiers landing on the island's beach. After the surrender of Corregidor, Lieutenant Crotty and thousands of service members were held at the Cabanatuan POW camp. He was the only Coast Guardsman taken prisoner during World War II. On July 19, 1942, at thirty-years-old, Lieutenant Crotty was killed in action and buried in a mass grave with fellow prisoners.

In the decades since the war, the American Graves Registration Service has exhumed and examined the remains of thousands of fallen soldiers to identify them. Using mitochondrial DNA analysis, Lieutenant Crotty's remains were identified on September 10, 2019, and will be sent home to the United States, arriving at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on November 1.


GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF CONGRESSMAN ELIJAH
CUMMINGS 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Congressman Elijah Cummings from October 18 until interment. The Governor's comments of Congressman Cumming's passing is available here.

"Congressman Cummings was the real deal: He was passionate and eloquent, accomplishing so much in Washington," *Governor Cuomo said*. "I am thankful to have seen his energy in action during our time together in Washington. We lost him too soon, but his memory and contributions to our great country and the State of Maryland will be forever remembered."


GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS ON STATE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF WORLD WAR II MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT FRANCIS S. CURREY

Last Living New Yorker to Have Earned the Medal of Honor During World War II

War Hero Distinguished Himself During 1944's Battle of the Bulge

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff tomorrow, October 11, in honor of World War IIMedal of Honor recipient Francis S. Currey, a Selkirk resident. Currey died on October 8, 2019 at age 94. Currey was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 when he knocked out an enemy tank, drove back enemy troops and rescued five American Soldiers who had been pinned down under enemy fire. After the war, Currey, who was born in Loch Sheldrake and raised in Hurleyville, returned to New York and worked at the Albany VA Medical Center from 1950 until 1980. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society he was the last living New Yorker to have earned the Medal during World War II and one of only three living World War II Medal of Honor recipients.

"Francis S. Currey was a true American hero who made great personal sacrifices to serve his country during World War II," *Governor Cuomo said. "His significant contributions during the Battle of the Bugle and beyond helped to defeat fascism during the war, and he continued to serve his country after returning home to New York through his work with veterans. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our sympathy to his friends and family and express our sincerest gratitude for his service, bravery and accomplishments."

Currey was serving as a Private 1st Class in the Army's 30th Infantry Division when the massive German offensive against American troops in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium kicked off in December of 1944.

On Dec. 21, 1944 Currey's unit, 3rd Platoon of Company K of the 120th Infantry Regiment, was defending a bridge over the Warche River in the Belgian town of Malmedy. A German attack overran the position that Currey and five other Soldiers were defending. Currey and the other Americans retreated to a nearby factory under heavy German fire. Currey located a bazooka—an anti-tank weapon—and then ran across the street in full view of the enemy to secure rockets for the weapon. With assistance from another soldier he knocked out the German tank with one shot.

Currey then moved to another position and killed or wounded three German Soldiers emerging from an enemy-held building with his automatic rifle. He took the bazooka and moved to a position 50 yards from the enemy-held building, stood erect, and then fired at the building, collapsing a wall.

From this position, Currey observed five American Soldiers trapped by fire from the enemy held building and three German tanks. He moved to an abandoned vehicle, retrieved an armful of anti-tank grenades and launched them at the German tanks using an M-1 rifle. This forced the enemy soldiers
to flee. Currey then climbed into an abandoned half-track and fired its .50 caliber machine gun at the German occupied position. He moved again to an abandoned .30 caliber machine gun position and opened fire on the enemy, allowing the trapped Americans to escape.

His actions forced the enemy to withdraw, securing the flank of his battalion's position and slowing the German advance for 12 hours. After night fell Currey and the other Americans withdrew.

Along with the Medal of Honor, Currey was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Belgium awarded him the Order of Leopold, their nation's highest honor. Currey was memorialized with a special G.I. Joe military figure in 1998 and appeared on the cover sheet of a series of Medal of Honor stamps in 2013.

Since 2003 Hurleyville, the town where Currey grew up, has marked Francis S. Currey Day with him as a guest, and former New York Governor Paterson declared July 12, 2009 as Francis Currey Day throughout the state. He will be interred Saturday in South Bethlehem, NY.


GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF FORMER CAYUGA
COUNTY UNDERSHERIFF

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 3, until interment in honor of former Cayuga County undersheriff Stephen McLoud, who died from an illness resulting from his work at the World Trade Center site following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

"Officer McLoud was a dedicated public servant and hero who ultimately sacrificed his life helping our city, state and nation recover at Ground Zero following the September 11th terrorist attacks," *Governor Cuomo said*.

"His selfless service embodies the heroism and bravery exhibited by all first responders who answered the call to serve following that fateful day, and I am directing flags to be flown at half-staff to honor his memory. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to Officer McLoud's friends and family. We will never forget his service and his sacrifice."


GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS LOWERED IN HONOR OF ROBERT MORGENTHAU


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be lowered Wednesday, July 24th, until interment to honor Robert Morgenthau.

Governor Cuomo released the following statement:

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Robert Morgenthau, a true New York hero whose dedication to public service and the law was matched only by the impact he had on the young prosecutors and lawyers like me who worked for him.

"Mr. Morgenthau was the gold standard of prosecutors and the model public servant, dedicating his life to achieving justice and protecting the public over the course of a storied career as a federal prosecutor under two presidents and as the longest serving Manhattan DA in history.

"He did his work with humility and integrity, and created the prestige of the DA's office - and New York is a better place because of him. I keep my assistant district attorney badge from the time I worked for Mr. Morgenthau on my desk as a daily reminder of his unrelenting pursuit of justice.

"In honor of Mr. Morgenthau, I am directing flags on State government buildings to be lowered to half-staff starting Wednesday, July 24th until interment.

"On behalf of the entire New York family, I extend my deepest condolences to Mr. Morgenthau's family, including his wife Lucinda, his children Jenny, Anne, Elinor, Robert, Barbara, Joshua and Amy and his six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren."



GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR FALLEN SOLDIER 


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff starting tomorrow, June 28, in honor of a Trumansburg, New York Soldier who died as a result of injuries sustained in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on June 25. He was 24 years old.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers I extend our sympathy to the friends, family, and fellow soldiers of Sgt. Johnston," Governor Cuomo said. "His death is a reminder of the sacrifices members of the military make to protect the freedoms and the values that this state and this nation were founded upon."

Sgt. James G. Johnston was assigned to the 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), a part of the 71st Ordnance Group at Fort Hood, Texas. Sgt. Johnston was one of two Soldiers who died of wounds sustained from small arms fire during combat operations.

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags at New York State facilities be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service members who are killed in combat or die in a combat zone.


GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF MARINE CORPS RESERVISTS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of two Marine Corps Reservists who were killed in Parwan Province, Afghanistan on April 8. Flags will be lowered from today until their interment.

Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, Nassau County, and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, who was a 15-year member of the FDNY, stationed at Ladder Company 23 in the South Bronx, were killed in an improvised explosive device attack while conducting combat operations along with a third Marine, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania.

All were members of the 25th Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of two members of the family of New York, Cpl. Hendriks and FDNY member Staff Sgt. Slutman, while they were serving our country in Afghanistan," Governor Cuomo said. "Their deaths are a tragic reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our service members, who put their lives in harm's way to protect our values and way of life. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences to their friends and loved ones, and I am directing that flags be lowered in their honor."

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.



GOVERNOR CUOMO DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF IN HONOR OF
DOT MAINTENANCE WORKER MATT HOWE


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags to half-staff on all State government buildings in honor of New York Department of Transportation Maintenance Worker Dennis (Matt) Howe of Owego, Tioga County, who died from injuries sustained last Wednesday when a tractor trailer collided with a DOT truck in the work zone March 13 in Tioga County. Flags will be flown at half-staff beginning today, March 19, until interment.

"I am saddened by the loss of Matt Howe, a dedicated public servant and Department of Transportation employee, who passed away last night due to injuries from when a tractor trailer collided with a DOT truck in the work zone.

"Since 2006, Matt served DOT Region 9 and the people of the State of New York honorably. As a maintenance worker, he was a jack of all trades who was always eager to lend a hand to the team.

"His death is a tragic reminder of the dangers our workers face every day braving the elements and our roadways, all while looking out for the safety of one another. There is nothing routine about what our maintenance forces do to keep New York's highways safe, and we have zero tolerance for anyone who flagrantly puts the lives and safety of our workers in jeopardy. This year I called for stricter protections<https: www.governor.ny.gov="" news="" governor-cuomo-announces-fy-2020-executive-budget-will-strengthen-protections-against-assault=""> for transportation workers to send a clear message that New York stands with our workers.

"In honor of Matt Howe and his service to the people of New York, I am directing that flags be flown at half-staff across this great state. On behalf of the entire family of New York, I extend my deepest condolences to his friends, colleagues and the loved ones he leaves behind."</https:>