Anderson, SC – Nearly two dozen American flags were torn down and torched inside a veteran cemetery on Independence Day.
McDougald Funeral Home owner Jess McDougald said that his family’s business has been in operation for 85 years, and that they often display the flags on patriotic holidays, CNN reported.
"We've put flags out for as long as I can remember," McDougald explained. "We've never had a problem."
The four-feet by six-feet flags were waving from eight-foot poles along the road to the veterans’ area of the cemetery when employees left work on the evening of July 3.
On the night of July 4, someone ripped them down, piled them up, and torched them.
Workers found the charred remains of 21 American flags when they returned to the cemetery after the 4th of July holiday.
“A sad report from our Forest Lawn Memorial Park staff over the holiday weekend,” the funeral home said in a Facebook post on Monday.
“On the night of July the 4th, someone pulled up 21 American Flags that lined the roadway to our Veteran's Mausoleum and had the nerve to burn them, yes burn them, on the lawn in the cemetery right in front of where our Veteran's and their families rest in peace,” the post read.
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office is now searching for those responsible, CNN reported.
There is no security footage of the incident, and the damage has been estimated at $1,260, according to WYFF.
None of the gravesites were vandalized.
“We can replace the flags, it's just the hurt of those families who have had people buried there and to find they had burned 21 flags, it really disappoints you," McDougald told WHNS. "We have always embraced and honored our veterans and it's something we feel is important.”