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Polis orders flags lowered to honor 500,000 lost to COVID-19

More Americans have died in a single year of the pandemic than in World War I, World War II and Vietnam War combined.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) ordered flags lowered to half-staff on all public buildings statewide from Monday, Feb. 22 until sunset Friday, Feb. 26, to honor the 500,000 Americans lost due to COVID-19.

As of Monday, Feb. 22, more than 500,000 Americans have now died from the virus.

"As a community, we grieve with the families who have lost a friend, parent or loved one to this deadly virus," said Polis. "As Coloradans, we honor the lives of our fellow Americans and reflect upon the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we can avoid more devastating loss by wearing masks, avoiding social gatherings, and washing our hands, as we get more vaccines into more arms and end this crisis."

> Above video: White House holds candlelight vigil Monday.

More Americans have died in a single year of the COVID-19 pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined.

In a candlelight vigil Monday night, President Biden called on Americans to remember those lost to COVID-19 and to remain vigilant against the virus.

"The people we lost were extraordinary," Biden said. "They span generations -- born in America, immigrated to America...But just like that, so many of them took their final breath alone in America."

Credit: AP
From left, President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, bow their heads during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19, at the White House, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"I ask all Americans to remember -- remember those who were lost and those who were left behind," the president said. "But as we remember, as we all remember, I also asked us to act, to remain vigilant."

Biden told the nation’s he knows it’s hard but that “to heal, we must remember.”

RELATED: Colorado coronavirus latest case, vaccine numbers for Feb. 23

RELATED: President Biden pays tribute to over 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19

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