BIXBY, Okla. – Some residents in one Oklahoma community say they couldn’t believe what they saw when they went to the town cemetery recently.
“Any veteran would be disheartened,” said Julia Gallagher.
Gallagher tells KJRH that she was shocked when she saw several American flags in the dumpster at the Bixby Cemetery.
“I literally burst into tears when I saw the flags in the dumpster,” Noelle Waller said.
Officials say Boy Scouts placed the American flags on the graves of veterans who were laid to the rest at the cemetery for Memorial Day.
Once the holiday passed, it seems that the flags were dumped in the trash with other decorations.
City officials say that decorations put on graves will be thrown out after five days, but admit that the flags should not have ended up in the trash.
“Mowing of the Bixby Cemetery is performed by a third-party contractor. The contract includes removal and disposal of decorations left in place longer than permitted by city code. Unfortunately this year, the flags that were included as part of some Memorial Day displays were not taken down in accordance with accepted practices for removing American Flag decorations. The contractor has apologized for this error and agreed to gather all of the flags improperly handled and deliver them to the VFW for proper treatment,” a statement from the City of Bixby read. “We apologize for the issue, and want to assure all citizens that no disrespect to the flag or to any of our service men or women was intended.”