American Flags Desecrated at RI Veterans Cemetery
By: Kainani Stevens
EXETER, R.I. (WLNE)---Worn American flags tossed on the ground at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Exeter has many outraged.
Stan Snyzyk, who visits his father’s grave in Exeter weekly, made the unsettling discovery on Sunday. He took several photos showing American flags seemingly thrown onto the ground and piled up with trash bags behind a storage facility.
Snyzyk posted the pictures on Facebook, that post shared over five thousand times. Dozens commented about the lack of respect shown for the American flag.
“These people fought for this country,” said Snyzyk. “They shed blood, sweat and tears, for every piece of fabric in that flag. My father fought under that banner. And to see them like that is an absolute disgrace and it broke my heart.”
U.S. code dictates flags that are no longer fit for display are to be disposed of in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
Veterans Affairs director Kasim Yarn, didn’t pull any punches when addressing the issue. Yarn readily admitting his staff did not follow protocol when they stored worn flags in a pile on the ground.
"I was speechless,” said Yarn. “Procedures were not followed. These flags of honor were just not treated properly."
Yarn says the flags were folded and burned in a formal ceremony on Monday.
"To the ocean state and our veterans all I can say is this isn't satisfactory. I will make sure this does not happen again."
(c) WLNE-TV 2016