Following the presidential proclamation to honor the victims of the recent shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered Washington state and United States flags at all agency facilities to be lowered to half-staff.
In response to the governor’s order and presidential proclamation, Western Washington University lowered its flags to half-staff.
The Chattanooga shooting occurred on Thursday, July 16, when a gunman allegedly entered two military facilities and open-fired. The fatalities include four Marines and one Navy sailor, with two more wounded.
Among Western’s student population is a small veteran community, composed of about 350 veterans and dependents of veterans.
Alex Miller, a sophomore and business administration major at Western, was in the army for five years and was stationed in Fort Campbell, Tennessee. Miller said he noticed that the government did not immediately direct flags across the country to be lowered.
“I think it’s about time,” Miller said. “Especially since, usually when celebrities or anyone else, doesn’t even have to be someone famous, dies, usually it happens immediately after and the president took about a week to do it this time. It was four marines and a sailor this time, and on American soil.”
President Obama ordered the flags to be at half-staff on Tuesday, July 21, five days after the shooting.
The flags are ordered to be kept at half-staff from Tuesday, July 21, until close of business or sunset on Saturday, July 25, or first thing Monday morning, July 27.