Obama Orders Flags Lowered To Honor Chattanooga Shooting Victims

A flag atop White House flies at half-staff in honor of Beau Biden, on June 6, 2015, in Washington, DC. President Obama is traveling to Wilmington, Delaware to deliver a eulogy for Beau Biden the son of Vice President Joe Biden after he died at 46 following a two-year battle …
Drew Angerer-Pool/Getty Images

After taking criticism for failing to order the flags flown at half-staff to honor the five members of the military who were shot and killed in Chattanooga, President Obama finally issued an order to do this afternoon.

“As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2015,” Obama said in his order issued at about 12:15 this afternoon.

Yesterday, White House officials declined to explain why Obama hadn’t ordered the flag lowered, even though the shooting took place last week.

This morning House Speaker John Boehner ordered flags on Capitol Hill flown at half-staff and a moment of silence on Capitol Hill to recognize the victims. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also announced today that flags at his buildings would be lowered in honor of the victims.

In his proclamation, Obama signaled gratitude to the police officers who stopped the shooting rampage from shooter Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez.

“We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life,” he wrote.