Flags lowered to half-staff as America mourns 500,000 deaths 

Month long acknowledgement of year long tragedy

Northgate High School joined the nation recently in quietly mourning the more than a half-million people in the United States who have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

All flags on public and federal grounds were ordered to be flown at half-staff until Friday, March 26, at sundown, including the flag at the front entrance to Northgate, located in Walnut Creek.

On Feb. 23, the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus in just under a year since the first lockdown orders. President Joseph Biden ordered flags nationwide to be flown at half-mast as a tribute to all the lives claimed by the virus. 

“We, as a nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one nation to defeat this pandemic,” Biden said in an official statement. 

The national loss of life is about one-fifth of that worldwide. As the pandemic ticks on and more lives are lost, communities, nations, and the world mourn the 2.5 million global deaths COVID has caused.

Like Biden, Northgate Principal Kelly Cooper noted the toll and impact of the coronavirus. 

“By now, with 500,000 lives lost to this virus, everyone has known someone affected by COVID, and many of us have lost someone we love,” she said. “It is mind-boggling to look back to where we were a year ago today, and all that has been lost. Lowering our flag is a sobering reminder of how hard COVID-19 has hit our communities, and the communities across America.”