Residents in one Missouri town are furious after a maintenance company threw away a bundle of American flags they had collected from graves in a local cemetery.
According to KTVI-TV, the incident occurred in Elsberry, Missouri, where Alliance Water Resources — a maintenance support company — took the flags off of veterans’ graves in the Elsberry Cemetery and threw them in the trash. Angry veterans groups were told that the flags were thrown away as part of the cleaning and mowing of the cemetery.
As unspeakable as the mistake may have been, the local VFW came to the rescue — they insisted the town get the flags out of the dumpster and are planning to retire them in a ceremony.
“No American flag should ever be tossed in the dumpster no matter how small it is,” Roger Morris, Commander of VFW Post 9064, told KTVI.
“I have friends that did not come back and the flag is extremely important to me.”
One of the excuses given, according to the station, was the fact that the flags were small and plastic. However, as the vets pointed out, every flag deserves respect.
“This one — there’s nothing wrong with it,” Post 9064 Quartermaster Morgan Brown said, going through the flags. “Why are you going to pull it off somebody’s grave?”
“Alliance is a strong supporter of the military and we understand the sacrifices that have been made by service members and their families,” read a statement from Alliance Water Resources Regional Operations Manager James Sneed.
“We also share the deep sentiment held by many for our American flag. On our behalf of the staff and the city of Elsberry, I apologize for this mistake and commit to making sure the staff is educated so this does not happen again.”
The fact that this came right before the Fourth of July holiday just adds insult to injury. We understand that mistakes are made and that Alliance apologized, but any VFW — as well as the Boy Scouts of America, American Legion and AMVETS — will properly dispose of any flag you wish to get rid of. Alliance and the town of Elsberry ought to have known this — and residents have every reason to be angry.
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