Vandals burn Marine's flag
Leah Ward's American flag stood at the end of her driveway in Colebook, a tribute to her husband, a Marine serving in Iraq.This week, someone burned it, the second act of vandalism involving the flag since June. Ward said it's a painful reminder that not everyone supports the troops. She's offering a $650 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible.
Ward, of 113A Beech Hill Road, woke up Monday morning to find the flag at the end of her driveway destroyed by fire. All that remained was a smoldering wooden flagpole and a secondary flag, a charred plastic “Marines” banner.
“I couldn't believe it,” Ward said. “Everytime I looked at that flag, I thought of my husband (Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Ward). Right now, I struggle to look at it.”
Desecration of the American flag is a Class A misdemeanor in Connecticut, the most serious of charges before a crime becomes a felony, state police Lt. J. Paul Vance said Thursday. It's punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,000.
Even as opposition to the Iraq war has grown in recent years, Vance said that crimes that involve vandalism of the American flag remain rare in Connecticut.Vance said state police would try to identify the person or people responsible. Police analyze evidence at the scene, and look for potential witnesses. That may be difficult in this remote part of Colebrook near the Massachusetts line.
The same flag was torn down and thrown in the woods in June when Ward, a 16-year member of the Air Force reserves, was in South Korea for training. Anyone with information can call State Police Troop B in Canaan at (860) 824-2500.