Several flags stolen from veterans' graves over weekend - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Several flags stolen from veterans' graves over weekend

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At least 16 American flags were stolen off the headstones of veterans this Memorial Day weekend.

Area D Vice Commander for the American Legion, Beth Linn said the thefts happened on Saturday and Sunday at Fairview Cemetery.

Linn said after receiving a call about the missing flags she went to the cemetery to replace them.

"I had a new veteran that I replaced the flag on twice and it happened again today (Tuesday morning) when I went to pick up the flags," she said.

On Friday, volunteers placed more than 1500 flags at the center of the headstones at Fairview and about 500 at Sunset Memorial Park. Linn said the entire tribute took more than 12 hours. She says she's unsure if any flags were stolen at Sunset Memorial Park.

"We can't stop people from stealing the flags, we can just correct it," she explained. "You wouldn't take any flags at Arlington, why would you do it at a local cemetery here."

Linn mentioned that some flags were removed and placed around nearby graves. She's unsure if family members may have done this but says each grave where a flag was originally placed is noted to be that of a veteran.

"We make it a purpose to place flags at the center of the headstone and not at the footstone," she said.

On Tuesday morning, volunteers picked up all the flags at both cemeteries. The flags were then brought back to the local VFW to be dried, bundled and stored to be used for next year.

Linn says in previous years there have been a few flags that have disappeared but not as many as this past weekend.
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