October 28, 2016 7:56 pm
Updated: October 28, 2016 7:58 pm

Tribute to veterans on Alberta highway vandalized: ‘Have some respect’

128 flags line Highway 11 near Sylvan Lake to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.

Al Cameron/Veterans Voices of Canada
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With just two weeks until Remembrance Day, a special tribute to our fallen soldiers has been vandalized.

It happened near Sylvan Lake where 128 flags line Highway 11.

The organization Veterans Voices of Canada says a flag was taken off the pole and tossed in the ditch. A hero plaque at the memorial was also taken down and left in the ditch.

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“I’m looking at the flags and I’m looking at the hero plaques and I’m wondering why the heck somebody would want to do that,” founder Al Cameron said.

“It’s a tribute. It’s a memorial tribute … The fact that my family members are on that flag line and that somebody can come along and do that to anybody’s family – it’s pretty brutal as far as I’m concerned.”

Cameron said he feels the act is incredibly disrespectful and hopes it won’t happen again.

“I’m really hoping that this is going to be a one-time thing. I”m going to put my faith in humanity once more.”

“I’m going to hope that whoever did this … that they’re going to understand what these flags mean and the effect it has,” he said.

READ MORE: Alberta man immortalizes voices of fallen soldiers 

Cameron said he’s considering enlisting volunteers to guard the memorial site. That step had to be taken in Kingston, Ont. where a similar site was seeing flags stolen on a nightly basis.

“They actually had the community come together to protect those flags and that flag line,” Cameron said.

His message to those responsible?

“If they want to question what we’re doing, come to us and question it, but think of those family members that have hero plaques on these sites. It’s giving tribute to their families so you’re basically disrespecting them and their veteran and their family.”

READ MORE: Fallen Canadian soldiers honoured with central Alberta roadside flag tribute

“We’re better than this,” Cameron added. “We can do better than this.”

The flags are put up on the first Saturday in October with an opening ceremony at each tribute site across the country. A closing ceremony is held after Remembrance Day to take them down.

Currently, there are nearly 40 sites in different communities across Canada.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc

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