Monday, May 30, 2005

Lowest Of The Low, Flags Stolen From Fort Snelling National Cemetery

At the Avenue of Flags at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, red, white and blue fills the streets. Beneath those colors is Edouarda and Jean Opatrna, whose husband and father was buried here. Not too far from his gravesite, 13 flags mysteriously disappeared Friday night.
“I think it’s a disgrace and I just hope and pray they find the people that took these flags,” Edouarda said. “After all, it shows very much disrespect for these veterans that fought for our country.” And each one of the flags had a special significance. “The Avenue of Flags is made up of donated casket flags,” said Don Emond, assistant director of the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. “When someone dies, a veteran dies, their casket has a 5 ½ by 9-foot flag and the families donate that for the Avenue of Flags.” Emond said he could not understand why anyone would take Old Glory from a very special place. “I am mad,” he said. “I can’t understand why anyone would do it, especially this weekend, our busiest weekend.” In the meantime, the flags were replaced. Fort Snelling is one of several national cemeteries to have flags stolen. News coverage prompted the return of flags in North Carolina and Denver. “Be anonymous and just return it,” Edouarda said, “Get the guilt off your conscience.
Fort Snelling National Cemetery