LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1 on all state buildings and within the state Capitol complex in honor of James Shelifoe, Jr. and Alan Swartz, firefighters with the Beartown Fire Department who died Saturday, August 27.

“James and Alan will be remembered for their service and commitment to the Keweenaw Bay community and tribal nations throughout our state and nation,” Snyder said. “On behalf of all Michiganders, we send our support during this difficult time to their family, friends and community.”

Shelifoe was a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and had been with the KBIC Beartown Firefighters for a number of years. He enjoyed being outdoors, playing basketball, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, riding his dirt bike and especially spending time with his family.

Swartz was a member of the KBIC Beartown Firefighters. He enjoyed anything outdoors, including fishing, snowmobiling, camping and hunting. He loved working on anything mechanical, especially his 4-wheeler.

Services in their honor will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31 and 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, respectively, at the KBIC Zeba Hall located at 16141 Zeba Road in L’Anse.

This flag order is in accordance with Executive Order 2013-10. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff. Flags should be returned to full staff on Friday, September 2.

When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.