Half-Staff Alert for September 16, 2017
For New Jersey

Ordering all State buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Saturday, September 16, 2017, in recognition of the life and in mourning of the passing of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Kenneth Smith.

A Cherry Hill resident and 2013 graduate of Cherry Hill High School East, Petty Officer Kenneth Smith served honorably in the United States 7th Fleet. He was the recipient of the National Service Defense Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon. Petty Officer Smith was a third-generation sailor who followed the honorable footsteps of his father and grandfather in Navy service.

On August 21, 2017, a United States Navy ship, the U.S.S. John S. McCain, was involved in a collision near Singapore that took the life of Petty Officer Smith and nine other United States Navy sailors. Petty Officer Smith, along with his fellow sailors, was posthumously advanced to the next rank.

"New Jersey was deeply saddened to learn of this painful incident at sea," said Governor Christie. "Petty Officer Smith was a loving son, whose memory will live on in the hearts of his family, friends, and fellow sailors. We offer our sincerest condolences to his and the other families who lost loved ones. May we solemnly remember, honor, and also be inspired by their selfless sacrifices for our country."

**When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

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