FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sept. 14, 2018) -- The sound of cannons firing every morning for Reveille and in the evening for Retreat resonates across the Fort Drum daily, and it accompanies the raising and lowering of the American flag in front of 10th Mountain Division (LI) Headquarters at Hays Hall.

That tradition has temporarily halted as more than 300 Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians relocated out of Hays Hall recently until the building's fire detection and suppression systems are replaced, and other construction projects are completed.

While the front walkway is being rebuilt, honor guard details will perform the daily flag duty. However, a noncommissioned officer from the commandant's office put the flag at half-staff in observance of the 9/11 anniversary and it went to full staff the next day.

The flag will remain at full staff for at least four weeks while the walkway is rebuilt. Since this is the only flag that is ceremoniously raised daily for the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, senior leaders deemed it fitting to keep the flag displayed throughout the outdoor construction period. It will be illuminated during the hours of darkness, in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code.

Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Roark, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum senior enlisted adviser, said that flag honor guards will resume their duty once the walkway is completed.

"We felt that keeping the flag raised was the right thing, as long as this was done properly," Roark said. "It also sends the message that although the building is vacated temporarily, the men and women of the Division Headquarters still remain dedicated to their mission daily."

The renovation and repair projects began Sept. 10 and will mostly be completed before the end of the year.