Friday, May 22, 2009


It’s been awhile since we have gone to our “What Were They Thinking” file – but this story certainly belongs there.

While leaving Ely Square Friday afternoon after taking photos of Art Weber placing American Flags around the park I heard a call on the Police scanner of a girl breaking Flag sticks in Ely Square.

Police arrived and spoke with a female fitting the description given by witnesses – they also spoke with the witnesses. It turns out that the very young daughter of the woman broke a Flag stick – leaving the Flag lying on the ground.

Now this is bad enough, but the child is very young so we can write that one off. However, what the Mother did after is what made us ask, “What Was SHE Thinking?”

The Mother picked up the American Flag that had been placed in the park to help celebrate Memorial Day and threw it in a trash can. Do you suppose this is what she believed what the right thing to do with the Flag? Was this the best example that a Mother can show her young daughter? Probably not.

Now, as the late Paul Harvey would say, here is The Rest of the Story.

Once the Police Officers sorted out all of the details they found the garbage can where the Flag had been tossed. As one Officer retrieved and folded the Flag, another contacted Art Weber to inform him what had happened.

Weber returned to the Park and Officers handed the Flag over to him saying that they felt the Flag should be properly disposed of or repaired if possible.

This reminded me of a story that TMC NEWS covered in December of 2006 where an alert Police Officer spotted an American Flag flying upside down at West Recreation Center. At that time we spoke with Darell Bishop, former Commander of the American Legion, Elyria Post 12, who said in that situation it sounded like a kid or kids playing around not knowing what it means when an American Flag is flown upside down. Bishop says that there are books for people to read explaining proper American Flag etiquette. If you are not a book person you can always visit

Bishop wanted people to know that if anyone has a Flag that they need destroyed because of it being distressed or damaged, they can always bring it to the American Legion located at Gulf Road & Ohio Street. “We have a large mailbox painted red, white and blue, for people to drop their flags off in. Then usually once a year around Flag Day we will hold a dignified Flag Disposal Ceremony.”

CHEERS to the two Elyria Police Officers who took the extra time Friday to make sure that the American Flag that had been tossed in the trash was removed and taken care of in a dignified way.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story upsets me greatly but does not surprise me. We were having a discussion at the parade when all the candy was being thrown as to whether the kids today even know what Memorial Day means. Its just a another parade that they can get candy. Having candy at the Halloween parade is ok but I don't think it needs to be thrown at a Memorial Day parade. Back to the flag story....a few years ago while attending the parade a little girl her Mom and a friend squeezed passed us in our chairs to sit in front of us and on our feet to watch the parade from the curb. At one point the little girl drooled candy on her new shoe. Mom said "Oh, just wipe it off with your flag!" People are something now a days. What are they thinking comes to my mind everyday.

4:57 PM  

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