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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday that at least one Texas county courthouse will defy President Joe Biden’s declaration ordering American flags at half-staff to honor American service members who died in the terrorist attack at the Kabul airport this week.
What did Biden do?
Hours after the terrorist attack — which killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 160 Afghan civilians — Biden ordered all American flags to fly at half-staff until sunset on Monday, Aug. 30.
Biden said in a statement:
As a mark of respect for the U.S. service members and other victims killed in the terrorist attack on August 26, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, August 30, 2021.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
What did Perry say?
Perry said the courthouse in Fayette County, Texas — which borders Austin County, where the state capital is located — will defy the order because of how Biden facilitated the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The Fayette County Courthouse won’t be flying the American flag at half-staff today as ordered by President Joe Biden. Before he was a Judge, my friend Joe Weber was a General in the Marine Corps,” Perry began.
“He knows the best way to honor the Marines and Navy Corpsman who were killed yesterday in Kabul is to recognize their selfless service and sacrifice by flying Old Glory high and proud,” Perry continued. “That’s what they would want; that’s what their families would want.”
“We have dipped our colors and bent the knee to terrorists under this Administration. No more, at least not in Fayette County, Texas,” Perry, also an Air Force veteran, added. “Semper Fi.”
The Pentagon released the names of the fallen service members on Saturday.
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
Their bodies are currently being flown back to the U.S., the Washington Post reported.