On the morning of Wednesday, April 23, a vandal cut the rope used to raise the flag in front of the Throggs Neck Post Office at 3630 E. Tremont Avenue. The flag was stolen.
“Someone cut the string and pulled the flag down,” said Desiree Brown – Stuart, acting manger of the local post office.
“I just wanted to make the public aware that we know that the flag is not in front of our building. We are working on getting it replaced and the matter resolved as quickly as possible.”
Brown – Stuart said that she had no idea why someone would want to steal the American flag, but was concerned that veterans in the area would take offense to the situation.
“Out of respect to the veterans in the area, we wanted to get the word out that we take this kind of mischief very seriously,” Brown – Stuart said.
Indeed, there was video surveillance of the location, and the video is currently under review.
Area veterans were concerned, but not necessarily outraged, by the theft of the flag. In fact, members of local American Legion Post had worked together to replace the flag in front of the Throggs Neck Post Office a year ago when it had become torn and tattered.
“We are the ones that asked them to replace a torn flag in front of the post office a year ago,” said Pat Devine of the Theodore Korony American Legion Post 253. “They didn’t have any way to get up to the flagpole. They had to call the fire department to replace the flag.”
Devine said he hopes whoever was involved just wanted a flag to display, and that it is flying in front of someone’s house instead of being destroyed. He said that in his many years organizing the Throggs Neck Memorial Day Parade, ‘Old Glory’ was often taken from poles along the parade route.
“We have had many flags stolen,” Devine said. “When we go along the Veterans Parade route or to memorials we have had flags stolen..”
Devine added: “If anyone wants an American flag, they can go to any American Legion post and get one..”
Ironically, just days after the theft, Devine’s post held a blessing of over 40 flags at the 12:30 mass at St. Benedict Church on Sunday, April 26.