Supervisor Joel Anderson Led Board of Supervisors to Ask President Biden for U.S. Half-Staff Flag Order, Condemns Hamas’ Terrorist Attack

San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson’s leadership has led to a unanimous 4-0 vote by the Board of Supervisors on a resolution asking President Biden to order U.S. flags flown at half-staff in remembrance of American lives lost at the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

As a result of Anderson’s action, the County’s chief administrative officer has sent a letter to the White House requesting the half-staff order in honor of the 32 Americans who were killed during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas.

The letter, dated Oct. 30, states, “The acts of violence perpetrated by Hamas on Oct. 7th against Israelis shocked our community and the continued acts of violence bring with them great unease to so many here in San Diego. In remembrance of the innocent lives lost, the County would like to honor their memory by lowering our flags to half-staff. As local elected officials, we are unable to do so without direction from the White House or the Governor of California.”

Anderson’s motion, approved at the Oct. 24 board meeting, said, “As the families and friends of these victims grieve for our fellow Americans whose lives were unnecessarily extinguished by terrorists, it is our solemn duty to express our nation’s solidarity with their loved ones. Flying the United States flag at half-staff is a traditional and powerful symbol of our nation’s collective grief and empathy. This act will serve as a reminder that the whole nation joins those who lost loved ones in their mourning.

“Throughout our nation’s history, Presidents have ordered that our flag be flown at half-staff on buildings, grounds and naval vessels to recognize and honor the lives of notable individuals and events involving significant loss that results in a period of national mourning.”

Anderson stated in the motion, “I am recommending that the County of San Diego officially request that the President of the United States order the flying of our flag at half-staff in remembrance of the 32 American lives lost during the Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel. This action will allow other jurisdictions, including the County of San Diego, to also fly the United State flag at half-staff to demonstrate to the families and friends of these victims that the nation shares their grief and mourns with them.”

Anderson said in a statement, “At least 32 American citizens were reportedly killed during the initial attacks, and there is concern that more American citizens are being held hostage by Hamas at this moment.”

Additionally, Anderson said he condemns the violent terrorist attacks by Hamas as “deplorable.”

“Now more than ever, Americans need to stand strong with Israel and speak out against anti-Semitism both locally and globally,” said Anderson. “The violence enacted by the terrorist organization Hamas against innocent Israeli lives is deplorable and I strongly condemn these violent actions.”

Anderson represents District 2 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

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