Group Ordered To Remove Veterans Day Flags At Military Cemetery

By Karen Morfitt

DENVER – Plans to honor our nation’s veterans by placing flags at Fort Logan National Cemetery were cut short.

Members of the group “Flags For Fort Logan” has been placing small American flags at as many Fort Logan grave sites as possible every year for the last five years.

Ninety-three-year-old Richard Skalecke says it was his family’s hope to one day reach every fallen military member.

“We were looking forward to eventually having the whole area flags,” he said.

ft logan 6 Group Ordered To Remove Veterans Day Flags At Military Cemetery

(credit: CBS4)

His son Marc and wife Jennifer, and as many volunteers as they can get, show up early at Fort Logan every year.

ft logan 4 Group Ordered To Remove Veterans Day Flags At Military Cemetery

(credit: CBS4)

“Either we have a list of requests for people or we do them at random as well,” Jennifer said.

This year, their informal event grew to nearly 15 volunteers and well over 3,000 flags.

It was a significant increase over years past, catching the attention of Fort Logan officials who told them it was not allowed.

Marc caught the interaction with two Fort Logan groundskeepers on camera. They are heard telling the group, “We have to abide by the policies we have. I get it, I do. It’s Veterans Day.”

ft logan 2 Group Ordered To Remove Veterans Day Flags At Military Cemetery

(credit: CBS4)

They go on to say that the policy only allows officials at Fort Logan to place flags, and only on Memorial Day.

Information about the policy online is clear: No permanent plantings, statues or other breakable objects.

But there is little direction about flags specifically, and there is nothing about what is allowed on Veterans Day.

“We had to go and pull them all up…and I felt like I had to apologize to each and every one of them,” Jennifer said.

Richard Skalecke says he could not believe it: “(I am) Showing respect for that person.”

The group says it promised to retrieve all the flags from Fort Logan’s properties on Sunday, but the offer was rebuffed.

ft logan 3 Group Ordered To Remove Veterans Day Flags At Military Cemetery

(credit: CBS4)

The Skaleckes are now questioning Fort Logan policy, and holding on to those flags for next year.

“We are going to work on getting some policies changed so we can keep doing this year,” Jennifer said.

CBS4’s calls to officials at Fort Logan as well as the National Cemetery Administration were not returned.

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Mr. and Mrs. Skalecke , I am 100% behind you,and hope your successful effort to get the ruling changed.

  2. The puzzle is Fort Logan is a Military Cemetery and I don’t understand why it is not allowed to place American flags on each veteran’s grave on Veterans Day, a day that nationally we honor our veterans. It is good that they are remember on Memorial Day, but Veterans Day is at least as important. The goup that have been putting the flags there for Veterans Day for the past 5 years, seem to be collecting them to use for the next year, so it does not seem to be a problem for the groundskeepers–except according to rules only the groundskeepers are allowed to place the flags on the graves. I hope the government can see their way clear to make an except to allow the flags to be placed on the graves on Veterans Day. And if the groundskeepers need help placing the flags, I’ll be Richard Skalecke can get his volunteers to help.

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