And stuffed them into garbage bags… as if they were yesterdays trash. SPIT.
(The Middlebury Campus) –A 2,977 flag memorial was ripped out of the ground in front of Mead Memorial Chapel shortly before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11 by a group of five protestors claiming that the flags were on top of a sacred Abenaki burial site.
The flags — meant to commemorate each of the 2,977 lives taken in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — have been posted in the grass between Mead Chapel and the Davis Family Library annually in a joint effort between the College Republicans and Democrats for nearly 10 years.
Ben Kinney ’15, president of the College Republicans, spent two hours putting the flags outside of Mead Chapel on Tuesday night, and happened to be walking up the hill towards the chapel when he saw four females and one male stuffing the miniature flags into black trash bags.
“I got there just as they were taking the very last of them out of the ground and putting them in piles,” he said. “At first, I the group was comprised of College Democrats helping put the flags away before the rain rolled in, but then I realized what they were doing.”
Kinney said the protestors told him they were “confiscating” the flags in protest of “America’s imperialism.”
Salute! A group of students have replanted the flags!
And a disciplinary investigation is underway. GOOD.
Statement from Middlebury President Ron Liebowitz
Sept. 12, 2013
To the Middlebury College Community,
Yesterday, on the 12th anniversary of the horrific attack on our nation on September 11, 2001, a group of Middlebury students commemorated the loss of nearly 3,000 lives by placing American flags in front of Mead Chapel as they have done a number of times in the past. Sadly, a handful of people, at least some of them from our campus community, this year chose to desecrate those flags and disrespect the memories of those who lost their lives by pulling the flags from the ground and stuffing them in garbage bags.
We live in an academic community that fosters and encourages debate and discussion of difficult issues. It is also a community that requires of all a degree of respect and civility that was seriously undermined and compromised by this selfish act of protest.
Like many of you, I was deeply disturbed by the insensitivity of this act. Destruction of property and interfering with the rights of others to express themselves violates the standards of our community. The College has begun a disciplinary investigation of this incident.
There is always something to learn from differences of opinion. In this case, the disrespectful methods of the protesters overshadowed anything that might have been learned from the convictions they claimed to promote. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior.
Update: More here including the flag desecrating scums statements.