TRENTON, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities in recognition of the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day, May 8th, 1945.
The flags will also fly at half-staff to honor the victims of COVID-19, pursuant to Executive Order No. 114, which remains in effect indefinitely.
“Today, we celebrate the brave soldiers, including many New Jerseyans, that set off to Europe to fight for freedom, for American values, and to defeat fascism.” Murphy said. “Seventy-five years ago, good triumphed over evil due to the sacrifices of so many, including some who never made it back home. We are eternally grateful to every soldier that answered the call to service in our time of greatest need.”
The text of Executive Order 139:
WHEREAS, May 8 is observed every year as “Victory in Europe Day,” or “V-E Day,” throughout the United States and Western Europe; and WHEREAS, on May 8, 1945, World War II in Europe came to an end, following the German surrender to the Allied forces; and
WHEREAS, this day not only signified the end of the most brutal conflict in Europe’s history, but also marked the end of the horrific and murderous Nazi Germany regime that plunged the continent into war; and
WHEREAS, the evil of Nazism reached its peak in the horrors of the Holocaust, where six million Jews and millions of other individuals, including Slavs, those with disabilities, political and religious dissidents, and gay men, were systematically murdered; and
WHEREAS, these acts are among the greatest atrocities ever committed by mankind, and have forever shocked the conscience of humanity; and
WHEREAS, as the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, I saw firsthand the enduring scar left by the Nazi regime, and witnessed the German people’s constant struggle to both reckon with this painful history and to move beyond it; and
WHEREAS, the world will always owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all those who served in the Allied forces and ended the scourge of Nazism; and
WHEREAS, millions of individuals serving in the Allied forces, including 407,316 American service members , made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in this conflict; and
WHEREAS, May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day; and WHEREAS, while these events can seem like they occurred in the distant past, there are 80,000 Holocaust survivors and over 380,000 veterans of World War II who live in the United States today, and their examples of bravery and courage continue to inspire millions of Americans; and
WHEREAS, on this 75th anniversary of V-E Day, it is appropriate to recognize these survivors and veterans, to remember those service members and civilians who perished in Europe during World War II, and to recommit ourselves to the ideals of democracy, freedom, and human rights that represent the firmest and most lasting rebuke to the Nazi regime;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, instrumentalities, and all public buildings during appropriate hours on Friday, May 8, 2020, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
2. This Order shall take effect immediately.