WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: National Day of Mourning

Today, Dec. 5, has been declared a National Day of Mourning for former President George H. W. Bush, who died November 30 at the age of 94. The state funeral will take place today at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

A national day of mourning is a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country’s populace. They are designated by the national government and considered a Federal holidaySuch days include those marking the death or funeral of a renowned individual or individuals from that country or elsewhere, or the anniversary of such a death or deaths. Flying a flag of that country and/or military flag at half-staff is a common symbol.

Other past presidents who have been honored with a National Day of Mourning include:

Gerald Ford (2007); Ronald Reagan (2004); Richard Nixon (1994); Harry S. Truman (1972); Dwight D. Eisenhower (1969); John F. Kennedy (1963); Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945); Woodrow Wilson (1924); and William McKinley (1901).

According to OPM (the government’s Office of Professional Management), for pay and leave purposes, this period of time will be treated as falling within the scope of statutes and Executive orders governing holidays. Most employees who are excused from duty as a result of the President’s Executive order will receive the basic pay they would have received if no Executive order had been issued. An employee who was previously scheduled to take annual leave on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, will not be charged annual leave (or any other form of paid leave, compensatory time off, or credit hours) for that day.

For general pay and leave administration guidelines, refer to the OPM’s fact sheets on Federal Holidays ”Work Schedules and Pay, Compressed Work Schedules, and Flexible Work Schedules.