Last year, between Memorial Day and July 4, some local cemeteries were hit by thieves who targeted veteran's flag holders, probably planning to sell them for scrap.
As sexton at South Bend (Bethel) Cemetery, near McCutchenville, I notified the Seneca County Sheriff's Department and they promptly dispatched a deputy who write up a report. The Seneca County Veterans' Services office was unable to replace all the missing flag holders because of the cost. (Some were from the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, etc.)
This spring, I received a phone call from Veterans Affairs saying the Wyandot County Sheriff's Department had recovered two boxes of flag holders that had been ditched (literally) in Wyandot County. I picked them up and, though some were damaged from having rods stripped, most simply needed new rods and there were more than enough to replace those stolen from Bethel.
It is hard to determine where exactly some flags are missing, so if anyone knows of a veteran's grave that lacks a flag after they are displayed for Memorial Day, call me at (419) 981-6327 or call the Seneca County Veterans' Services Office at (419) 448-9023 to pick up a flag and appropriate holder. In addition to the government-issued holders for the various wars, there are a few recovered flag holders from the VFW, American Legion, D of A, American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Pythian Sisters, etc., that need to be returned to their proper locations. I understand there have been arrests and charges have been filed. Too bad those responsible can't be sentenced to a few years of military service!
D.F. Heimrick, McCutchenville