Just when I think I have seen the sorriest mankind can do, I see a story like this.
When Ed Jordan hung two flags from his front porch – one for his country and one for the Marine Corps he once served in – he thought no one could take issue with his gesture to honor the troops during the Fourth of July.
He never imagined he would return to his Far North Dallas home from an errand Monday morning to find the flags burned – their cinders scattered amid his azaleas.
Ed Jordan holds the charred remnants of the U.S. and Marine Corps flags that flew outside his Far North Dallas home until vandals burned them Monday
And he was shocked when police told him a flag at another house in his quiet neighborhood just north of Valley View Mall was incinerated the same morning.
Now Jordan, 70, is just baffled by the crimes.
“I’d have given them the flags if they wanted them,” he said, spreading a handful of remains out on his coffee table. “But to just burn them – I don’t understand that at all.”
A sooty sliver of red and white was all that remained of the American flag. Another that had depicted a famous photograph of Marines at Iwo Jima had been reduced to shreds of melted nylon.
Jordan said he enlisted in the Marines out of high school and served as a corporal at Camp Pendleton in the 1950s.
“When I was on active duty, the flag always meant something to me,” he said. “I’d always take pride when I saw it flying in civilian areas.”
How others could take offense at the same sight was beyond his understanding.
“When you damage something that so many have died for – the symbol it represents – that, to me, is intolerable,” he said.
Jordan didn’t hold out much hope the culprit would be caught. He said he is moving on from the incident and will fly another flag as he has done for more than a decade.
“I’m not angry, just disappointed,” he said. “I guess, more than anything, I feel sorry for them.”
“Disappointed” was also the word Jordan’s neighbor, Celeste Mele, used to describe her feelings after discovering her own flag had been burned – though she had a few others she said weren’t printable.
“The question is, was it a prank or some anti-American statement?” she said. “I guess in this day and age, it could be either one.”