Veterans ‘burial flags’ snatched out of Graceland Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend

Burial flags on display for the Memorial Day weekend were stolen from the Korean War Memorial at Graceland Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the general manager of the cemetery told the Herald & Review.

The four stolen flags – known for the wrapping of veterans’ coffins during funerals – measure 5 meters wide and more than 9 metres long. They are valued at $150 per piece.

Cameras will now be installed to monitor the cemetery in order to avoid thieves, according to David Goebel, the general manager of Graceland Fairlawn Funeral Home and Cemeteries.


“And we are in contact with the Decatur police, Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the Decatur Park Police and spoke with them about doing some more patrol next year,” Goebel told the Herald & Review.

The flags were part of a collection donated flags will be presented to Graceland for display. They are only flown on Memorial Day weekend. The flags were donated by veterans families, Goebel said, sometimes after the burial of the relative.

Each flag that was stolen had the name of the veteran associated with it are registered in the substance in the marker.

“It is depressing that someone could come in and be so destructive if the cost of an American flag,” Goebel said. “Unfortunately, with our society today, you can’t have anything nice, you can’t do anything what is worth, without having someone come and try to destroy it.”

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