In Honor of Shimon Peres, Obama Orders U.S. Flags to Be Flown Half-mast

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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Israeli President Shimon Peres. June 13, 2012
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Israeli President Shimon Peres. June 13, 2012 Credit: Jason Reed, Reuters

In honor of the passing of Israel's former President Shimon Peres, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered all U.S. flags to be lowered to half-mast.

"As a mark of respect for the memory of Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels," the proclamation called "Death of Shimon Peres" said.  

He also directed that "the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations."

Read more on Shimon Peres: Peres pursued peace for sake of Israel's values, and Palestinians' dignity | Hawk to dove, pro-settlements to pro-peace: Shimon Peres was it all | The countless contradictions of the late and great Shimon Peres | Obama, world leaders mourn Peres | Shimon Peres, the eternal immigrant | Peres' quixotic battle for Israeli-Palestinian peace | Drop the kitsch: Shimon Peres had a dark side, too | Peres, 1923-2016: an interactive timeline

After some initial ambiguity about Obama's plans to attend Peres' state funeral on Friday, the White House confirmed that the U.S. will lead the U.S. delegation to Jerusalem to participate in the funeral and will return to Washington, D.C. following the ceremony on September 30.

Peres passed away early on Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke. His death resulted in an outpouring of condolences from foreign leaders including Obama, who called Peres "the essence of Israel itself."

In addition to Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Clinton are among the world leaders who will attend the funeral on Friday at 11 A.M., according to Israel's Foreign Ministry. Hillary Clinton communications chief Jennifer Palmieri told U.S. media that she will not be attending the funeral.

EU President Donald Tusk and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, French President Francois Hollande and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are also expected to attend. Charles, the Prince of Wales, will also attend the funeral. Israel's Foreign Ministry believes officials from Egypt and Jordan will attend the funeral, along with other representatives from Arab states.

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