The Arlington Board of Fire Commissioners ordered American flags be removed from three different fire trucks in the Arlington Fire District.
Arlington Fire Commissioner Chairman Jim Beretta said the board felt the flags were a “liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists.” He also went on to express that the flags were mounted on the trucks without consulting the board.
Take a listen:
The story gets even more interesting. Hughsonville Fire Department, just a short ways away from the Arlington Fire District has been flying American flags on their trucks since the 9/11 attacks.
Public information officer William H. Beale spoke about the flags, “Our fire department has taken pride with displaying the flag on each of our apparatuses.” He continued, “When it was brought to our attention (Tuesday) that this was happening at another department, we were surprised that anyone would encourage a flag to be removed.”
He wasn’t done.
We are a month away from the 15th anniversary of 9/11. 9/11 was the largest loss of firefighters’ lives in any single incident. Flying the flag on the back of a fire apparatus has become a tradition. It started with the New York City fire departments and was meant to support our country as a whole. To see anyone voluntarily ask or direct to have a flag removed from a back of a fire apparatus goes against that tradition.
Union President Joseph Tarquinio took a harsher stance, “if we had to take them down, they had to be taken down the right way. At the time when the country needs unity, to do something like this … it’s next to flag-burning in my mind.”
Fire Chief Tory Gallante spoke about the situation and thanked all of the support from the community he is getting.
Both Tarquinio and Beale are right. These flags should not be removed from the fire trucks, especially under the bogus reasoning of them being “unsafe.” It is an honor to fly the American flag and these firefighters are proud to have that honor. But as Beale noted, it’s also about remembering the sacrifices of their fellow firemen.
Chairman Jim Beretta should be ashamed of himself and his blatant disrespect for our country and its firemen.
Share if you want the American Flag flying High on the back of the Fire Trucks!
H/T: Poughkeepsie Journal