American Flags Stolen From Veterans Cemetery Night Before Memorial Day: ‘So Sad and Shocking’

by Katie Maloney

Citizens are banding together to honor veterans after thieves stole flags from graves the night before Memorial Day.

Regardless of anyone’s political opinions, Memorial Day is a time to honor all those who have served our country, specifically those who have lost their lives while doing so. So, it’s always sad when someone steals a group’s opportunity to pay their respects. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened at the Los Angeles National Cemetery this weekend.

Several volunteers spent the entire weekend preparing graves for Memorial Day. Unfortunately, unidentified person(s) snuck into the cemetery and stole a large American flag and several other smaller flags. The gates of the cemetery were closed. But investigators said the thieves snuck in sometime between Sunday night and early Memorial Day morning. There are no leads on who is responsible for the crime. However, a volunteer worker at the Los Angeles National Cemetery Support Foundation named Rebekah Adams said it takes three people to take down the large flag. The flag stretches 25 feet by 30 feet long. So the group suspects there were several people involved in the act.

“It’s so sad and shocking something like this would happen on Memorial Day,” said Adams.

They Could Steal Flags, But Couldn’t Steal the Honor of Memorial Day

Yes, the people responsible for the theft were able to get away with a few flags. However, they couldn’t steal what Memorial Day was truly about. Families of fallen soldiers, loved ones, and people simply wishing to pay respects continued to visit the cemetery. And previously scheduled events went on as planned. Despite the disrespect shown by the thieves, the service men and women still received the honors they deserved.

The Veterans Administration runs the cemetary. And it was built back in the 19th century. Spokesperson Les’ Melnyk of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration said that the disrespectful act saddens him. However, he said that the incident would not detract from the honor the people visiting the cemetery intended to give to the veterans laid to rest there.

“[The crime] cannot detract in the slightest way from the honor and respect we pay on this Memorial Day to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said Melnyk.

No one has been charged for the crime yet. However, officials said that the investigation will continue as they try to gather more information about who was involved.