It’s not just a flag. It’s a symbol of a firefighter’s ultimate sacrifice. It was stolen from a Huntington Station flagpole on his sister’s property. And now she wants it returned.
The flag had flown over Ground Zero during the painful days when first responders searched for bodies. But Melissa Ielpi-Brengel, who says the flag was one of many given to 9/11 families to fly outside their homes between Memorial Day and July 4, and again on Sept. 11, says the flag was stolen.
Ielpi-Brengel's brother Jonathan Ielpi, a firefighter with FDNY Squad 288 in Queens, died in the 9/11 attacks. Ielpi-Brengel said the flag was taken sometime between 10:30 p.m. Monday and 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
“The flag is very special to me, and my family, not only because it is an American flag, but also because of where the flag once flew,” she told Patch.
“Our flag was the only one on my block that was taken, our neighbors flags are still flying proud,” she added.
Now Ielpi-Brengel feels the only way of ever seeing the missing flag again is by spreading the word.“Hopefully it will get back to the person or people who took it and stop them from taking any more,” she said. “And just maybe they will feel a little guilty and leave the flag outside the house.”