Imagine how upset the VFW was when it found out the group responsible for tossing the flags, which had been decorating veterans' graves, was Alliance Water Resources, which provides maintenance support to the City of Elsberry.
"No American flag should ever be tossed in the dumpster no matter how small it is," said Roger Morris, Commander of VFW Post 9064.
The folks at the VFW Post 9064 have shed tears over the red, white, and blue. They've lost family and close friends fighting for freedom.
"I have friends that did not come back and the flag is extremely important to me," said Morris.
The VFW ordered that the city retrieve the flags from the dumpster so they could properly retire them in a special ceremony. For now they're keeping the flags locked safely in a shed.
"This one there's nothing wrong with it," said the Quartermaster of VFW Post 9064, Morgan Brown, as she picked through the flags. "Why are you going to pull it off someone's grave?"
They were told the city removed the flags from the graves to clean and mow the cemetery.
James Sneed, the Regional Operations Manager for Alliance Water Resources released a statement apologizing for the mistake:
"Alliance is a strong supporter of the military and we understand the sacrifices that have been made by service members and their families. We also share the deep sentiment held by many for our American flag. On our behalf of the staff and the city of Elsberry, I apologize for this mistake and commit to making sure the staff is educated so this does not happen again."
There are several organizations that take flags that need to be disposed of, including the VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, and Boy Scouts of America.