UPDATE 2: The father of an Illinois soldier who died in Iraq has made a deal with a cemetery for the right to keep the 10-foot flag poles that bookend his son's memorial, MyFoxChicago.com reports.
...after a meeting, the cemetery agreed to let him have one flag pole behind the gravestone. The shrubs and other flags will be scaled back, but the cemetery will add a separate memorial site to honor service members who have died for their country.
The cemetery is owned by Dignity Memorial, a Houston-based company. Their website says they are the largest provider of cemetery services in the country.
I can imagine they saw a huge potential problem- every veteran or family member of a veteran across the USA refusing to be buried in one of their facilities. Could have had a large impact.
Original: We've all heard the stories- old vets not being able to fly flags in their homes (HOA rules); grieving family members told to remove US flags; people desecrating memorials to soldiers and such.
Well, for once, we may have someone who's gone just a tad far. Possibly.
This story has a bazillion takes to it- I'll give you mine after I give you some more details-
Army Cpl. Albert Bitton was killed by a roadside bomb in 2008. For the past two and a half years the poles have displayed an American flag and an MIA/POW flag, one on each side of the headstone. It's a monument that his father, Elie Bitton, visits three times a day.
According to Fox Chicago, a grieving father erected a seriously nice memorial to his fallen son at his son's grave site; this memorial setup has been in place for over 2 years.
Step in new cemetery management, and he's told to remove it. All hell breaks loose.
Now, lest you think I've gone all daft, I think the cemetery was within their right to manage what is displayed; that said, I don't think they handled this at all well. My take is that they should have offered the father an alternative; instead, they delivered an ultimatum.
People, you gotta realize that 90% of the time, when you try to 'fight' grieving families of soldiers, yer gonna lose. And lose big. As a friend once said, ''Yer gonna get famous, and not in a good way''.
A win for both of them would have been for the cemetery to offer to set aside an area for veterans where family could make appropriate memorials. But to let someone have this for over 2 years, THEN demand to take it away, and think you'd prevail?
Insanity. You need to come to us here at B5 for better advice, before you 'act stupidly'.
To that grieving father- bless you, your son, and I hope you find peace soon. He gave all, and deserves every bit of support you show his legacy.