'Disgrace': American Flag Burned Outside Home of Disabled WWII Veteran - NBC4 Washington

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'Disgrace': American Flag Burned Outside Home of Disabled WWII Veteran

A neighbor and fellow Army veteran helped replace the World War II veteran's flag

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    A World War II disabled veteran says he took it personally when someone burned the American flag that was hanging outside his house in Alexandria, Virginia, the day before Independence Day. (Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017)

    Dick Cohen joined the Army when he was 17 and lost the use of his left arm when he was wounded by German machine gun fire in World War II.

    Now, the veteran proudly displays the American flag, which he calls a “very important” symbol in his life, outside his home in Alexandria, Virginia, every day.

    But the day before Independence Day, Cohen found his beloved flag in tatters, set on fire in the middle of the night outside his door.

    “I served under that flag and bled for it, really, and it was a personal affront,” Cohen said. 

    The American flags outside two of his neighbors' houses also were burned. At a third neighbor's house, 10 small American flags in a garden were thrown into a gutter. 

    “I have never seen anything like this before,” Cohen said.

    "I thought it was a disgrace. It's our American flag. We're very proud of it," one neighbor said. 

    Neighbor Amanda Van Hooser, who is a fellow Army veteran, helped Cohen get a new flag. 

    “I thought it was nice little touch that from two generations, we were able to replace it,” she said. 

    Neighbors said that in response to the American flag burnings, they will fly flags themselves.