HUDSON, N.Y. – Dozens of American flags were found stolen from the Cedar Park Cemetery in Columbia County over the weekend, police said on Monday.
A worker at Cedar Park Cemetery, Vincent Wallace, says this is the third time in the last six years that flags have been stolen from the cemetery right before the Fourth of July. He says the target is always the same, the American flags placed in front of the tombstones.
Every year Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion members place American flags in front of all 42 headstones where Civil War Veterans were buried.
Wallace says, "35 of those flags were torn from the staffs, the staffs were broken, and the flags were gone."
Wallace is an Army Veteran himself. He says symbolically a lot more than just the flags were stolen. "The flags not only represented the Civil War Veterans, but also the veterans that are living today, it's a desecration of the symbol that they gave a good portion of their life to protect and defend."
Cedar Park Cemetery is working with the city to catch the suspects. They are expected to offer a cash reward for anyone who has information leading to arrests in this case.