Many locations to close in honor of President Bush
The Mercury News - December 4, 2018 4:12 pm
With the flick of his pen, President Donald Trump has ordered the federal government to close Wednesday in a National Day of Mourning for former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94. Major stock markets, some banks and the U.S. Postal Service all have announced that they would also close up shop for the day, as will countless other government offices and businesses across the country.
Federal agencies are pulling out all the stops for the day of presidential mourning, including the creation of joint task force of about 4,000 military and civilian personnel in and around Washington, D.C., to stage the week’s events. That includes the state funeral at National Cathedral, which is slated to begin at 8 a.m. PST Wednesday.
This week’s National Day of Mourning is the latest in what has become a time-honored tradition for honoring the memory of presidents who have died. Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, declared such a day in early 2007 when former President Gerald Ford died at 93. Back then, federal agencies and offices were closed while financial markets suspended trading, as they have this week. In 2004, USA Today reported, the younger Bush ordered the same salute to former President Ronald Reagan. Even in disgrace, presidents have received similar tributes — former President Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 as he faced impeachment from office, was honored upon his death at age 81 in 1994 when then-President Bill Clinton declared a day of national mourning.
Here’s a list of some of those places that will pause in memory of the 41st president:
- Many of the nation’s postal services, including regular mail delivery, will be put on hold for the day, though the Post Office will provide “limited package delivery service on that day to ensure that our network remains fluid,” the service said in a statement, a reminder of the pressures of the ongoing and very busy holiday season;
- All post office locations will be closed;
- Most federal employees will be excused from work on Wednesday, according to the Office of Personnel Management, although the Washington Post points out that individual agencies across the government are free to choose which crucial employees to keep on the job for the day;
- The OPM defined those as employees “who, in the judgment of the head of the agency, cannot be excused for reasons of national security, defense, or other essential public business,” acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert wrote in a memo to agency heads;
- All federal offices will be closed;
- Social Security offices across the nation will be closed;
- Some banks will be closed, although the Federal Reserve Bank payment systems will function as normal;
- With flags across the country lowered to half-staff, some courts will be closed as well;
- The Supreme Court is postponing arguments for the day;
- All votes in Congress have been cancelled or postponed until after the Wednesday funeral;
- Some state governments, including Bush’s home state of Texas, are shutting down for the day, with government operations maintained by skeletal work crews;
- The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will be closed;
- The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recommended Saturday that bond and fixed-income cash markets would close;
- CME Group announced that trading in U.S.-based equity and interest rate futures and options products would be suspended;
- Nominations for all categories in the 61st Grammy Awards will be postponed due to the funeral, with the announcements coming on Friday instead of Wednesday.