'This was blatant disrespect:' More than a dozen American flags stolen from Veteran's Day memorial

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- A field of flags has been waving proudly in Apex since last Saturday. The display was set up on a vacant lot along Old Apex Road, and there haven't been any problems until Friday morning when a volunteer came by for routine field maintenance and discovered several patriotic symbols had been plucked off the field.

"This was blatant disrespect and very, very discouraging," said Apex Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation chair Lisa Higgenbothem.

Higgenbothem helped create the sea of flags for Veteran's Day, and said it was supposed to bring joy to the community. Instead, she is disgusted that someone would steal from the memorial.

"I feel violated," she said. "These veterans gave--many of them gave their lives for us, for these freedoms that we take for granted, and for them not to understand this and to think that ripping flags off a post is acceptable? It's not acceptable."

Seventeen large American flags were stolen from the field. The Circle of Honor, which includes flags from the five branches of U.S. military, was also taken.

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The Apex Police Department is investigating the crime.

A two-person team went around the field Friday afternoon, replacing the missing banners.

The Rotary Club plans to keep this display up through Saturday, November 14. The club said volunteers will watch the field throughout the night, staying vigilant to make sure the men and women being honored are given their due respect.
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