Why Are Flags at Half-Mast Today in Chicago?


Those heading into work or driving around Chicago on Thursday may be wondering why flags are being flown at half-mast, regarded as a symbol of mourning and respect.

Today, the flags are being flown at half-mast in honor of slain Chicago police officer Andrès Vasquèz-Lasso, who was shot and killed in the line of duty last week while responding to a domestic-related incident in the city’s Gage Park neighborhood.

The funeral for Vásquez-Lasso was held Thursday morning, following visitation services in Oak Lawn on Wednesday evening.

All levels of law enforcement were in attendance at his visitation Wednesday, while Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker paid the family a visit as well to honor a man who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

“It’s devastating,” said 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares. “I came here today to support the family to pay my respects to Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso,” she added. “Their pain is our pain.”

Inside the Oak Lawn funeral home, Officer Vasquez Lasso’s coffin was draped in a Chicago flag. Outside, a line wrapped around the building with people waiting to pay their respects. 

The city not only showed their appreciation, but people from across the state and country. One man came from Detroit and carried this wooden cross at the funeral home entrance. 

“This is a message of love and hope and peace and healing. And that’s what we’re here for today to help everyone in the area heal,” said Dan Beazley.

“I just hope that his family finds peace and I hope that the pain goes away soon,” said veteran, William Cook.

One group knows that pain all to well. They’re known as the Gold Star families. They’ve all lost a loved one in the line of duty. Now, they’re increasing their membership with the Vasquez Lasso family. A name they hope after today the community will never forget. 

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