As Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to lower American flags flying over state properties in honor of the five service members killed in the Chattanooga, Tennessee shooting last week.

“While the entire nation mourns the unnecessary death of these brave members of our military, I believe Gov. Cuomo should direct that all flags in New York State are lowered out of respect,” said Hawley. “There are so many military members here in New York State, and so many military families, to me it is the right thing for the governor to do – to show solidarity and respect for the nation during this difficult time.”

According to the state Office of General Services’ website, the state’s official flag policy allows for flags on state property to be flown at half-staff under a variety of conditions, including “special periods of mourning designated by the President of the United States or New York State Governor, and to commemorate the death of a personage of national or state standing, or of a local serviceman, official or public servant who, in opinion of the local agency concerned, contributed to the community.”

Earlier today, President Barack Obama directed that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of the service members killed in the Chattanooga shooting. The service members included a Navy sailor and four Marines. The service members came from states throughout the nation, prompting some governors (including Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida) to increase security at National Guard and military facilities in their states.

“We should do everything possible to keep our military and National Guard safe – especially here in the United States. The shooting at Chattanooga is horrific and alarming for our nation in many ways. The very least the governor can do is order flags to be flown at half-staff, and I would encourage him to ensure that our National Guard and military facilities are secure,” said Hawley.

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