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