Vandals in Johnson City, Tenn., stole American and POW/MIA flags from a veterans’ memorial on Sunday and damaged a flag pole the day before a Memorial Day service there.
Those in Johnson City described the vandalism before Monday’s ceremony as “disgusting,” “sickening” and “vile,” the Johnson City Press reports.
Brenda Barnette, chairwoman of the memorial’s board, told the Johnson City Press she learned about the vandalism on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a boot in the face of freedom, veterans and our families who sacrifice and serve,” Barnette said.
“It’s heartbreaking really, I mean to think that somebody lives in our community who doesn’t revere our freedom like we do. It’s kind of beyond vandalism, because symbolically they’re taking the freedom that these people sacrificed and exercising it in a very fallacious way,” said Barnette.
Mark Sirois, chief of police for the Johnson City Police Department, did not respond to a request for comment by publication time by The Daily Caller.
Organizers expected to be able to replace the flags before the 6 p.m. Monday service.
This is the second time the veteran’s memorial has been damaged. Three months ago, the flags were also stolen at the memorial, according to the Press.