This is not free speech; it’s vandalism:
ORCAS ISLAND, Wash. — Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans’ graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas, authorities said Monday.
Forty-six flag standards were found empty and another 33 flags were in charred tatters Sunday in the cemetery, authorities said. Swastikas drawn on paper appeared where 14 of the flags had been.
Members of the American Legion on this island off Washington’s northwest coast replaced the burned flags with new ones Sunday afternoon.
The vandals struck again on Memorial Day after a guard left at dawn, the San Juan County sheriff’s office said. This time, the vandals left 33 of the hand-drawn swastikas.
In my book, what these vandals did was little different from Reverend Fred Phelps and his crew. Actually, it’s arguably worse in at least one aspect in that it involved wanton destruction of property.
Whatever these idiots’ opinion of the war in Iraq, U.S. foreign policy, or war in general are, they would do well to remember that the veterans buried in these cemeteries, whether they were killed in action or died of old age after having served their time, they did answer their country’s call, bore the burden, and were the ones who came home in body bags or missing limbs. They do not deserve to have their graves desecrated to make a political point.