The United States will today, Wednesday December 5 2018, observe a federal holiday after President Donald Trump declared national day of mourning in honour of the late George H.W. Bush.
Bush, who was America’s 41st president passed away on November 30 at age 94 at his home in Houston Texas.
On the national day of mourning, all living former presidents including Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Bush’s son George W. Bush are expected to attend a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. National days of mourning are a rare occurrence which are mostly set aside to recognize former Commanders-in-Chief or memorable events.
In Kenya, all we know that on such days, the Kenyan flag is hoisted at half-mast. However, take a look at how serious national days of mourning in America are:
- federal employees who work for the government are excused from work, unless they are involved in issues of national security or defense.
- In some States like Maine, where the Bush family has a summer home and Texas, the former president’s home state, governors have ordered for state offices, agencies, and departments to shut down.
- The US Postal Service will not deliver mail today, and all USPS locations will be closed
- Major US stock markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will be closed.
- National parks may have limited services or closures.
- All Social Security field offices and hearing offices will be closed Wednesday but online services will still be offered.
- The National Passport Information Center and all passport agencies and centers are due to shut down for the day.
- The Supreme Court is postponing hearing arguments for a day as all other federal courts will remain closed.
- The US House of Representatives and Senate have cancelled and postponed Wednesday votes.
This just goes to show how respected the 41st President was in the country. All this just to honour the man who will be remembered by many as having played a key role in space policy as the country transitioned from the Cold War competition with the Soviet Union to a more cooperative relationship with Russia.
Do you know what a national day of mourning in Kenya entails?