It’s time to admit the flag thieves have won

BRATTLEBORO — Seven years ago, my father, Tim O'Connor, decided that the town needed a little more red, white, and blue during Brattleboro's Fourth of July festivities. So on his own, he bought 125 U.S. flags and put them in the flower buckets throughout downtown, around the traffic island across from Brattleboro Savings & Loan, and around Wells Fountain. He did so quietly, not wanting any credit for his efforts.

My father passed away last year, but the flags were a tradition we knew he'd like us to carry on. So I put the flags out. I don't have his artistic flair, but they looked great anyway!

Last year, 20 flags were broken, stolen or, worse yet, burned. Knowing that wouldn't have deterred my father, I got new flags and put 66 out this year.

When I went to pick them up the morning of July 5, all were gone - stolen, for a second year in a row.

It appears that it's time to admit that the thieves have won.

To the people who enjoyed the flags, you didn't know it, but you made my father's day.

To the person or persons who stole the flags, it wasn't just flags you took. You've ended a tradition started by someone who just wanted to make his community a little brighter.

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