President Barack Obama ordered that all flags at government buildings, military installations and naval vessels be flown at half-staff through Tuesday, Dec. 18, at sunset, in honor of those massacred at a Connecticut elementary school Dec. 14. The dead included 20 children.
The following is part the president's remarks on Friday afternoon, Dec. 14:
"The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
"So, our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.
". . . While nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need -- to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
"May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, also ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol lowered to half-staff in honor of those massacred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14.
The photo shown of a lowered flag at the U.S. Capitol was taken by photographer Jeff Malet on Friday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in the foreground came from a nation forest as a gift from Colorado.
If you have a flag on your property or home, we encourage you to lower it to half-staff.