Flags at Half-Staff—Reverend William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr.
WHEREAS, the Reverend William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr. died on February 21, 2018, at the age of 99;
WHEREAS, born on November 7, 1918, near Charlotte, North Carolina, Reverend Graham transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism reaching millions and earning him the title of “America’s pastor”;
WHEREAS, he counseled presidents from General Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush with a message of faith that transcended generations and was the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history;
WHEREAS, in 1983, President Reagan awarded Reverend Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. When the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated in 2007 in Charlotte, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton attended;
WHEREAS, he was so widely revered that he became one of only four private citizens to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol;
WHEREAS, the Graham family has donated to and supported prison ministry at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, and inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary built, in the early 2000s, the casket in which Reverend Graham is laid to rest; and
WHEREAS, Reverend Graham is survived by children, Virginia Leftwich Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Ruth Graham, Franklin Graham and Nelson Edman Graham, along with 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: As an expression of respect and to honor the Reverend William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr., the flags of the United States and the State of Louisiana shall be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol and all state buildings on Friday, March 2, 2018.
SECTION 2: This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until sunset, Friday, March 2, 2018.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 1st day of March, 2018.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State