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Press Release - Governor Richardson Lowers Flags in Honor of South Carolina Firefighters

June 21, 2007

SANTA FE -- Governor Bill Richardson today ordered flags to fly at half-staff to honor the nine South Carolina firefighters who were killed in the line of duty.

"Firefighters are trained to make the ultimate sacrifice -- to walk into the worst danger and to risk their lives without hesitation," said Governor Bill Richardson. "Early this week, nine South Carolina firefighters ran into a burning building to protect the lives of their fellow citizens trapped inside. These firefighters taught us the true meaning of the words courage, honor, and duty."

"The citizens of New Mexico are grateful for the actions of these selfless heroes and it is with great sadness that we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends that were left behind."

In honor and mourning of the South Carolina Firefighters killed in the line of duty earlier this week, Governor Richardson ordered that all flags be flown at half-staff on Friday, June 22, 2007.

The text of the executive order follows:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 2007-030

FLAGS FLOWN AT HALF STAFF IN HONOR AND MOURNING

OF FALLEN SOUTH CAROLINA FIREFIGHTERS

WHEREAS, on Monday June 18th, nine South Carolina Firefighters tragically lost their lives fighting a fire in a Charleston, South Carolina furniture warehouse;

WHEREAS, the heroes included Capt. William "Billy" Hutchinson, Capt. Mike Benke, Capt. Louis Mulkey, Engineer Mark Kelsey, Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, Assistant Engineer Michael French, Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton, Firefighter Brandon Thompson, and Firefighter Melven Champaign;

WHEREAS, these firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice, risking their lives without hesitation as they ran into a burning building to protect the lives of those trapped inside. These firefighters taught us the true meaning of the words courage, honor, and duty;

WHEREAS, the citizens of New Mexico are grateful for the actions of these selfless heroes and it is with great sadness that we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends that were left behind; and

WHEREAS, this tragedy reminds us of the tremendous sacrifice that the men and women of the fire services throughout New Mexico make as they fight to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of our States' citizens and property.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bill Richardson, Governor of the State of New Mexico, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New Mexico do hereby order that all flags be flown at half-staff on Friday, June 22, 2007, in honor and mourning of the South Carolina Firefighters.

ATTEST: DONE AT THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE

THIS 21ST DAY OF JUNE, 2007

MARY HERRERA WITNESS MY HAND AND THE GREAT

SECRETARY OF STATE SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO

BILL RICHARDSON

GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO

Bill Richardson, Press Release - Governor Richardson Lowers Flags in Honor of South Carolina Firefighters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/295571

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