MONROE TWP., OH (WCMH) — A photo circled around the internet on Monday showing American flags lying on the ground at Green Hill Cemetery in Monroe Township. A township trustee wanted to clear up any confusion and explain how he learned the flags were improperly placed.
Hundreds of American flags that were once placed on gravestones were thrown into a compost pile for fall cleaning and the community was not happy about it.
NBC 4’s Elyse Chengery called Troy Hendren, a Township Trustee who was not aware of the flags being on the ground he says “I was coming back from an appointment and I got a call from you saying we had an issue at the cemetery about flags being on the ground and that was approximately 11:30a.m. and I was here at about 11:35a.m. and realized we had a situation. I called one of our part-time guys alerted him of the problem he came in with boxes and the whole things has been a point of miscommunication.”
Hendren says it was all part of fall clean up at the cemetery to remove the flags from gravestones and that they do it every year.
“We had a new guy that really hasn’t been through the process of this cleanup every year. I first assumed with all of the stuff going on in our country that it was some form of vandalism that really got me going so,” said Hendren, fighting back tears.
Bruce Tolle of American Legion Post 254 was not happy when he heard about the American flags on the ground. “Don’t like it. Don’t like flags laying on the ground and I’m sure there was no intention to disrespect the flag it’s just a matter of ignorance anyone can make a mistake or not be aware of what the implications are or what they might be doing you know it’s all picked up now. If it had been something done intentionally like the NFL now that would be a big problem. There were over 800 flags we put them out every year.”
“There was no malice intent we are God-fearing flag bearing good old boys here from Monroe Township and we would have never let this happen and it won’t happen again,” said Hendren.
We’re being told the flags will be stored until the township trustees and American Legion Post 254 have a proper ceremony to burn and dispose of the flags.