Earlier this month, members of a senior over-60 softball league made up of veterans and retired first responders reported that the flag that flies at Stanley Stiller Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie had been taken down and destroyed by an unknown person.
In response, on Wednesday, July 22, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Sen. Sue Serino, and Town of Poughkeepsie Supervisor Jay Baisley were joined by members of the softball league to raise Old Glory at Stanley Stiller Park.
"We are the makers of the flag. The service, sacrifice, and commitment to family, community, and fulfillment of America’s promise is embodied within," Molinaro stated. "We celebrate the inherent right of every American to express their beliefs - we do not accept the damage to property nor do we embrace the discretion of the flag.
"Today, we raised a new flag - bold and brilliant - as a celebration of community,” he concluded.
“I was absolutely disgusted to learn of the recent desecration of the American Flag at Stanley Still Park in Town of Poughkeepsie,” Serino said. “I commend the community members who took it on themselves to retrieve, clean, and properly dispose of the flag.
Serino added: “We live in a divided world right now, but we cannot lose sight of all that unites us as Americans and we must do all we can to bring kindness, civility, and unity to our communities.”
On Facebook, the Dutchess County Government posted: “Earlier today, officials and residents (gathered) to thank Chris Edwards and "Johnny B" Bellezza, who recently saved an American Flag that had been vandalized at Stanley Still Park.
“The pair raised a new flag at the park, and local leaders lauded them for their quick thinking and action to save the original flag from desecration.”
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