On Monday morning, July 20, Sheriff Ben Stewart ordered that the American Flag flying over the Madison County Sheriff's Office be lowered to half-staff for the next five days in order to honor the Marines and Navy servicemen killed in Chattanooga, Tenn. last week. On Thursday, July 16, a gunman opened fire on a recruitment center and a base, killing four service members immediately. Two other service members and a police officer were wounded, with one of the servicemen dying from his injuries two days later. The gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was killed by police at the site of the second shooting. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these heroes who are grieving at this time,” announced the Madison County Sheriff's Office. “We also continue to pray for protection and safety for all the men and women who serve in our military and respective law enforcement agencies. Semper Fi.”
“Our President may not honor the fallen Marines with the Capitol's flags but we will,” said Sheriff Stewart. “It is very important to me that these men and women who serve to protect our rights and way of life are recognized. When our leaders don't take notice when something like this happens, I am very dissapointed. Right now, 67 police officers have already died since January; now our Military are being killed on our own soil. I pray for my men every day and I pray for our military.” Sheriff Stewart served our country in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 to 1983 in both active duty and the reserve Later that afternoon, Governor Rick Scott ordered that all United States Flags in the State of Florida be flown at half-staff and, if they hadn't already, Madison businesses and city departments followed suit.
1. Photo Submitted. Sheriff Ben Stewart lowers flag to half-staff in honor of the servicemen who were killed in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Thursday, July 16.
2. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Savannah Reams, Julu 21, 2015. The Madison Police Department lowered their flags to half-staff in order to honor the military personnel killed in Chattanooga.
3. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Savannah Reams, Julu 21, 2015. Madison City Hall honors the fallen Military servicemen with their flags at half-staff.
4. Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Savannah Reams, Julu 21, 2015. The Madison County Courthouse honors the Marines and Navy servicemen killed in Chattanooga, TN by flying its flags at half-staff.