An Alabama thief expressed remorse after desecrating an Independence Day tribute to military heroes on church property, according to Fox News.
The culprit, who took a slew of the 100 American flags that had names of veterans on them, left a note after he or she had returned them.
“I’m sorry for taking the flags,” the person wrote on a note with the returned flags. “I did not mean any disrespect … I was drinking and had a dumb idea … I had no idea that there were names of fallen heroes.”
Instead of pressing charges, the church and its members have accepted the apology and extended an invitation to church on Sunday.
“The note was very sincere. You can tell whoever took them was very, very upset with themselves,” Pastor Royce Dubose told WPMI.
“To be honest, we don’t want to know,” the Baptist preacher said of who did it. “And not because we are angry at them, but because we don’t want to embarrass them to feel any more remorse than they are already feeling.”
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Melba Schafer, a First Baptist Church member, was planning on replacing the flags when her husband discovered them along with the handwritten note propped up against a tree beside the church.
Many online expressed gratitude that the person was remorseful and returned the flags.
The incident took place as protests following the death of George Floyd have led to statues and symbols, from Confederates to former U.S. presidents and abolitionists, being torn down or desecrated in cities across the nation.