by: Richard Thompson Updated:
Centralia, Wash. - About half of the 60 American flags placed in Centralia's Washington Lawn Cemetery were torn down and ripped up on Memorial Day. The flags were put up by the American Legion to honor veteran's buried at the cemetery going back to the Civil War.
KIRO-7 took photos of the ripped flags to the Veteran's Memorial Museum in nearby Chehalis and showed them to people who have fought for our country. Veteran Thomas Kirkpatrick told KIRO-7 the vandals should be ashamed of themselves. "It's total disrespect for the country that gave them the right to be what they are. It hurts that our own young people would do this." said Kirkpatrick.
Centralia police suspect teenagers are responsible for the vandalism. Sgt. Kurt Reichert put it bluntly: "It's in my opinion, probably juvenile stupidity, but it's obvious the parents are not watching their children or telling them what the holiday means."
Art Davison served in the US Navy in World War II and the Korean War. Davison told KIRO-7 he will be buried in the cemetery targeted by the vandals and hopes they get caught. "Anybody who disrespects the flag as far as I'm concerned, deserves some time in prison," said Davison.
Police said they have not identified any suspects and are encouraging anyone with information to contact the Centralia Police Department.