Flags are flown at half-staff to mark a period of mourning and remembrance. It’s a recognition of tragedy, and brings comfort and honor to those experiencing grief. The federal government has yet to order flags to fly at half-staff to mark one of our nation’s greatest tragedies: the ongoing drug overdose crisis, which claimed nearly 841,000 American lives between 1999 and 2019.
This year, it is more important than ever to recognize the overdose crisis as a national tragedy and honor the lives of those lost. It is expected that we will have the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded for a single year.
Overdose Awareness Day is observed on August 31 to remember these lives lost to overdoses. In light of the rising overdose deaths taking place across the country, several members of Congress introduced a resolution to encourage Federal buildings to lower their flags to half-staff in support of Overdose Awareness Day.