American Flags Back On Veterans’ Graves At Totowa Cemetery

TOTOWA, NJ (WCBS 880) – Most of the American flags are flying again over the graves of veterans at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa after a groundskeeper pulled them up last week.

“They just took it upon themselves to make a decision to pull all the flags up,” said disabled veteran Joe Laglisi.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports: Flags Flying Again At Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Laglisi says members of the Riverside Veterans of Hawthorne have placed the flags on the graves before Memorial Day every year since 1946. He says it’s never been a problem, until now.

“One of the rules on the new sign is no flags are permitted,” said Laglisi. But after complaints, the cemetery allowed the flags back.

Laglisi says he hopes the group can work out an agreement with cemetery for next year.  

Do you think American flags should be allowed on gravesites? Sound off below in our comments section.

More from Levon Putney
  • sal danna

    The flags are gone again. The policy is that flags can not fly between July 4th and Memorial Day. Please report this since it is so disrespectful

  • To With honor

    To all of you who have left your comments here. THANK YOU. I am a grandson of two men who were badly injured in WWII. One of them is buried in this cementary. For many years, the flag was always put on his grave and left there until we took it because it was tattered — which is EXACTLY what should happen. I have spoken to the “manager” of the cementary and her response was “I no understand what the problem is.” THAT’S IT! I am in the process of writing to the Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson, every newspaper and every news station to have this person removed from her post. If you can’t respect not only our veterans or our Flag – get the hell out of this country!! There is the problem. If you are as angry as I am about this situation, please address your concerns to the Bishop of Paterson since he oversees the operations of the cementary.

    • Frank Lakatos

      I am the nephew of my mother’s only brother PFC. Frank P Billings He was killed in France and is buried in that cemetery .I’m was named after him.I was born after the war,so I never knew him.The flags should always mark his resting place,and of all who defended our great country.We should always remember them. I Will.May God Bless them and God Bless America…

  • Pierce Austin

    Hi Joe thanks Pierce

  • Ken Gallo

    That cemetery posted a sign no flags untill memorial day. That is ridiculous. Flags should be able to fly year round on the graves of a Veteran. If you don’t stand behind our Veterans, then sign up you can stand in front of them.


    Lets be proper about the rules of the cemetery, it does not say no flags allowed, it says no flags allowed before June 1st…. now how ridiculous are those rules? Veterans are honored memorial day weekend, that is BEFORE June 1st, the rules at this grave yard must change. And Flags should be allowed YEAR ROUND. When the flags are degraded and torn, they should be retired properly such as at the post office or a VFW hall, these places know how to take care of the old flags.

  • Len_NJ

    Many of my deceased family members are buried in that cemetery. My father, uncle, grandparents, countless cousins. I visited there last Wednesday and placed flags on the graves of most of my deceased relatives. I will go there again tomorrow to see if any flags are missing or maligned. If they are, watch for the mushroom cloud…….

  • William Sr.

    This is America and the flag should fly for every vet. If there are those that are offended by the American flag marking the graves of our veterans , then those offended should leave They are not Americans!

  • tom

    It is a shame that the time-honored tradition of identifying the brave souls who served our country with a flag at the time of the year that is set aside to Memorialize them is left to whims and/or control of those who want to make their job of cutting the lawn easier and faster. My heartfelt gratitude to the Riverside Veterans for fighting for what’s right, on behalf of the souls buried there who deserve this honor. Rest in Peace Bill P., and thank you for your service in WW2.

  • Dale Mulkey

    its just a piece of cloth get over it you bunch of morons

    • Judef

      That is your opinion and you have a right to that you could thank the veterans for fighting and those who died to give you that right.. so who is the moron here?? YOU

    • Mike Carthy

      a piece of cloth that alot of Americans, who understand what it represents, would love to see wrapped around your body and thrown 1776 miles out at sea…. ;)

    • An american

      And you must be a piece of Sh- -!!

    • I_LOVE_USA

      That is where you are wrong…. Not just a piece of cloth. Is the necklace your great great grandfather left to you just a ring? How about the car your uncle left you, or the drawing that you made when you were a kid that your Grandmother kept for the remainder of her life, only for you to find it again after she passed, is it only a drawing? No way, and you know it. To call the flag just a piece of cloth is a spit in the face of all those who serve to protect you and our country. You cannot call yourself an American. The flag is a symbol of our freedom and it is very important to most of us. It is important to ALL of the real Americans in this country. If you think its just a piece of cloth, please go move to a country that thinks their flag is also just a piece of cloth, here is a hint, you wont find a country that thinks that.



  • William Peck

    America, love it or leave it. The flag is a symbol of those who gave their lives to protect what the flag stands for, “liberty and justice for United States citizenx”. It doesn’t stand for freedom and justice for individuals who are not United States citizens. Tough words, but I served my time and put my life on the line; I am one pf the lucky soldiers.

  • ctw

    Flag on a grave? No doubt. No question. Yes.

  • howard sturgis

    If there is a Muslim grave next to that of an American hero and their family is offended by our flag, then, dig it up and send it home.

    • Laurie

      There are American Muslim Vets who also get a flag!

  • John Kinoff

    The American flag is a symbol for our freedom, that we pledge allegiance to and that men and women have defended and died for. Yes there is no doubt that the flag should be allowed.


    The American flag is a symbol for our freedom, that we pledge allegiance to and that men and women have defended and died for. Yes there is no doubt that the flag should be allowed.

  • The Ugly Amerian

    Love it! America, the land of the free…until something is said or done that MomMom and Faye disagrees with and then its pack your bags and leave!

    I wonder if MomMom and Faye know how to spell Hypocrisy?

    • I_LOVE_USA

      Not sure where you are going with this, but I know how to spell it AND I know its meaning. I think you should look up the meaning. Are you saying that the very freedom the veterans provided, allows people (graveyard) to remove those flags? If so, then you would be right, however the question here is: Is it the moral or logical thing to do, the answer to that is a big definite NO. I can guarantee one thing for sure, if those flags were removed every day, more and more would be put up the very next day, if it came down to it the American people would see to it that the rules at this and all graveyards are changed so that flags may be placed any and all times of the year, and they can only be removed and retired properly when tattered and torn.

      What is your belief I am curious…..

  • Peter Courtenay Stephens

    Undoubtedly a Democrat did this.

    • niklu


  • Karen

    Let us never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live freely. A flag on their grave site is a small token of appreciation for what they did. And to those who fought and came home, I say “Thank You!” I’m with Faye…if you don’t like this country…leave.

    • Judef


  • Dennis Burlingham

    The groundskeeper evidently has no respect for the grounds he is supposed to keep. Flags on veteran graves are part of the respect that people should have for the dead. Most cemetery sextons allow vandals to distroy gravesites and do nothing to repair them.

  • MomMom

    The American flag is a symbol for our freedom, that we pledge allegiance to and that men and women have defended and died for. Yes there is no doubt that the flag should be allowed.

    If you don’t like it then move to the country whose flag you’d rather fly or burn. We don’t want you in America. If you don’t like the flag then you can’t consider yourself a true American who stands for this country.

  • James S. Brucker

    I pay my dues and did my time Of course I want a flag on my grave.

    James S. Brucker US Army Vietnam Veteran CW4 Retired

  • Michael Orourke

    To many men died for the flag that shows the World of Freedom. By removeing the flag you turn your back on all those who died for it…
    Wake up America We are not headed the right way.

  • Faye

    That is a slap in the face to all who wore the uniform. They fought to give you freedom to object to anything. If you don’t like this country leave we don’t need you

blog comments powered by Disqus
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index-DP
Giving Tuesday

Listen Live