Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski
HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) — An American flag stolen from the family of a firefighter killed on Sept. 11 has been returned with a note that says: "I am so sorry, I had no idea."
WNBC-TV in New York reported that the flag was returned Thursday. It has resumed flying on the porch of Melissa Brengel's home in Huntington Station on New York's Long Island.
Her brother, Jonathan Ielpi, was 29 when he died at the World Trade Center in 2001.
Brengel posted a note about the returned flag on Facebook:
"The flag means so much to me and my family and we are so happy and grateful that it was returned and we are able to display it again, although this time it will be put in a proper case and displayed in the house."
"I don't know who took it or why. I guess they had their reasons. I am just glad that their conscious got the best of them and they did the right thing by returning it. I also hope it taught them a lesson and they don't try and pull something like this, with any one, again."
The family believes the flag was stolen last Monday or early Tuesday. Brengel says, "We put it out during certain times of the year just to remember."
She says the September 11th Families Association gave her the flag after it flew over the World Trade Center ruins.
In related news, someone apparently swiped American flags from seven Brooklyn homes on Independence Day morning, the New York Daily News reported, citing authorities.