Sometimes it seems that the flag is at half-mast more often than it flies fully. Of course today, Memorial Day, we understand why it is at half-mast, but these days there always seems to be some sort of horrible event precipitating yet another flying at half-mast. There are mass shootings, there are disasters both man-made and natural, accidents and crimes, and of course a continual loss of brothers and sisters in warfare declared and undeclared.
Sometimes I go to work, and I see a flag and half-mast, and I no longer remember why. And when I can’t remember why, I have to ask myself how is it that high-profile deaths of certain people warrant a half-masting, but the deaths of “ordinary” people usually don’t. Perhaps every day we are in armed conflict the flag should fly at half-mast, until the cessation of hostilities?
But then, wouldn’t that cheapen the whole experience?
If we are at a point in history where we fly our flags at half-mast so often we can no longer pinpoint why, perhaps it is time to think about where we are going as a society.