Thieves nab veteran's memorial plaque from Valley cemetery



Posted on November 13, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 9:25 AM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- It was a hard Veterans Day for one Spokane Valley man.

Stephen Day Jr. says a thief ran off with his father’s bronze military grave marker. The military gave him the plaque to recognize his service.

Peone Cemetery is a quiet place nestled in between farms. A few hundred people have been laid to rest in the land near Mead.

Stephen Day Sr. was buried there years ago. His son regularly visits the cemetery, but what’s usually a peaceful trip was disrupted when he came to pay his respects Friday.

“I decided to stop in and say hi to Dad like I always do, and it was gone,” Day said.

He calls it a small and humble bronze memorial marker, which the United States Army gave Senior after he died. Even though Day says his dad was private about his military service, the plaque was something his family held dear. It was also the only marker on his father’s plot.

“It’s beautiful out there. I don’t know why someone has to go in there and disgrace someone resting in peace. I can’t comprehend it.”

The cemetery says there haven’t been any reports of problems since it put in automatic security gates. Day says this bold theft is devastating.

“Look at our economy. It explains it. Look what they do to copper wire. Look what they do with everything else made out of bronze. If you need money that bad, come ask me. I’ve got pennies I’ll give it to him Just give it back.”

Days plans to replace the marker but says it won’t have the same sentimental value as the original.