Old Glory’s persistence through the horrors of battle in a Maryland harbor 200 years ago may have inspired our national anthem, but the flag memorializing soldiers killed in action that sits atop the pole in Charles Park in Howard Beach is inspiring nothing but shame.
“It is torn to shreds and has been that way for months,” said Robert Morrissey, a resident of Howard Beach. “It is a disgrace.”
Like the park itself, the flag was damaged by Hurricane Sandy last fall, but was already showing it age before that. Now, it is a tattered mess, a piece of aged cloth only further damaged by the winter storms.
Dominick Papa, a Lindenwood resident and local “flag man” — known for giving the stars and stripes to anyone who wants one, said there is nothing he can do about it because the flag, which sits on federal parkland, is stored behind lock and key.
“Get me a key and I’ll be happy to replace it,” he said.