An American flag found in a trash bin was too important for the garbageman to toss away. He was looking for an ethical way to get rid of it.
And all of it was captured on video by the one who accidentally discarded the evidence.
Although it is very uncommon for Don Gardner to stop and move the trashcans of senior citizens to the street when he is cleaning up rubbish in Utah’s Emery and Carbon counties, he does not stop for much else. Gardner works for hours collecting garbage in these two counties.
Unless he notices a pattern that he’s seen before, like the stars and stripes.
According to what he said with KSTU, “I took an oath once to protect our nation and this flag, and I still do.” “Many individuals gave their lives defending and fighting beneath that banner, and many of them were killed.” Because of the sacrifices many individuals made, we can enjoy the liberties that we do today.
Gardner, a United States Marine Corps veteran, said that it infuriates him to see an American flag tossed in the trash.
This is not the first example in which anything like this has taken place. At least a dozen flags have been rescued by him during his eleven-year tenure as a garbage collector.
“Makes me furious,” he replied. “I become irritated. Sometimes it’s a mistake. In almost all cases, this is deliberate. Because I have an issue with it, I will remove it from the equation and deal with it.
It turned out the individual who discarded the flag that Gardner had stopped for was observing him the whole time.
“He drives up, he gets out of his vehicle, and I’m wondering, ‘What is he doing?’” “He pulls up, and he gets out of his truck.” Brooke Cowley made this statement. “And immediately, I was so ashamed, like, oh my god, I was frightened, because I’m married to a veteran,” she said. “And immediately, I was so humiliated, like, oh gosh, I was petrified.” What in the world am I doing?
While Cowley was cleaning up during the Easter weekend, she made a mistake and tossed away the American flag. Cowley then continued to watch Gardner retrieve the flag. She filmed him and uploaded the footage to several social media platforms to demonstrate to her community “what he accomplished” and “the care and affection that he gave our flag.”
“I wanted them to see and offer him the respect he showed to our flag,” she said. “It was important to me.”
Gardner said he would be pleased to teach anybody interested in getting rid of an antique American flag or to take care of the flag himself. According to the United States Flag Code, if you are not in Emery or Carbon county in Utah, an American flag should “be destroyed in a dignified fashion, ideally by burning.” You won’t need to do that if you live in one of these counties.
In addition, organizations such as the American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, and Girl Scouts of America will collect flags and properly retire them. You could also check with the fire department in your area to see if they would accept an American flag for disposal.