A huge American flag and several smaller flags have been stolen from a Southern California veterans cemetery over the US Memorial Day weekend.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration, says the garrison flag at Los Angeles National Cemetery was reported stolen sometime late on Sunday or early Monday.
The cemetery’s gates were closed at the time, spokesman Les Melnyk said.
Veterans Affairs police were investigating the theft of the 7.6 metres by 9.1 metres flag, Melnyk said.
The crime “cannot detract in the slightest way from the honour and respect we pay on this Memorial Day to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” he said.
Rebekah Adams, a volunteer at the Los Angeles National Cemetery Support Foundation, said it would be difficult to remove the flag that is usually handled by three people.
“It’s so sad and shocking something like this would happen on Memorial Day,” she said.
The cemetery dates to the late 19th century and is operated by the Veterans Administration.