CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. - An American flag meant to honor a WWII veteran was stolen just as friends and family attended his funeral.
The American flag is special to Gene Meade.
“I’m a veteran and I served in the military," he said.
So when the American flag honoring his 97-year-old brother-in-law was stolen during his funeral he was left in disbelief.
"We didn't know what to think really. We were surprised someone would remove a flag during a funeral of a POW."
Hugh Hunt died last month from cancer. Meade is married to Hunt's sister and being a fellow veteran he wanted to do something special for Hunt's funeral.
"We decided to get neighbors together on Moriah School Road in Casar to display American flags to honor his funeral procession. Video shot by Meade shows the flags displayed outside of homes leading up to the church where Hunt would be laid to rest.
Meade says the flag stolen was attached to a 10-foot pole. He says despite the disrespect shown to his brother-in-law he wants those responsible to know he and his wife aren't upset.
"We aren't ill at the people doing this. We would like to see him return the flag to the cemetery. We don't want him to be punished for this but we hope this never happens again."
Meade adds although the flag was stolen in the future he hopes to honor other veterans the same way.