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Why are flags at half-staff today in Illinois? Here’s what to know – NBC Chicago

The American flag and the Illinois state flag will fly at half-staff Wednesday.

This decision takes place in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day, which occurs every May 15, as required by federal law. The annual commemoration honors local, state and federal peace officers who have died or been disabled in the line of duty.

“On Law Enforcement Day and during Police Week, we recognize the incredible courage of our nation’s police officers and honor the fallen heroes, whose ultimate sacrifice we can never repay ” the White House said in a statement.

Flags will remain at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Wednesday, according to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s office.

The day is one of two federal observances that require American flags to be flown at half-staff. The other is Memorial Day.

This annual observance dates back to 1962, when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

Last year alone, 60 law enforcement officers were killed on the job, according to the FBI. And as of April 29, 19 law enforcement officers have been killed and 21 others have died in workplace accidents, according to the bureau’s latest data.

“Police Week gives us an important opportunity to recognize and thank the heroes who walk among us, the men and women of courage and character who think of others before themselves, whatever the cost,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray in a statement.

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