Park City veteran donates special American flag to replace stolen one |

Park City veteran donates special American flag to replace stolen one

Jay Hamburger

A veteran who lives in Park City donated an American flag he received upon his departure from the Army to replace one that was stolen from a Veterans Day display in City Park, one of the organizers of the display said.

The National Ability Center did not identify the man who made the flag donation. Joelle Kanshepolsky, who manages special projects for the National Ability Center, said the veteran contacted the National Ability Center on Thursday after reading about the theft of the flag in the media. He then went to the National Ability Center to donate his flag.

"He found it super-upsetting . . . He just felt like this is something we’re doing to honor our veterans," Kanshepolsky said.

Kanshepolsky said the man told the National Ability Center he did four tours of duty in the Army. She did not have details about his service. He appeared to be in his late 20s, putting him in the age group of members of the military who would have served in Afghanistan or Iraq. The man told the National Ability Center he lost his brother recently in the military, but he did not provide details, she said.

"We were all incredibly moved by his generosity. This moved him," she said, adding that the donation was "incredibly touching."

The Park City Police Department logged the theft of the flag on Nov. 7 on Sullivan Road, which is a small street bordering City Park. The flag was part of a 150-flag display that was outside Miners Hospital for Veterans Day. The display, called the Field of Flags, was scheduled to be taken down on Friday.

The National Ability Center, Colonial Flags and City Hall organized the display for Veterans Day. They were posted for a week. It was the second year of a flag display marking Veterans Day in Park City.

The theft left a visible space in the display before the organizers replaced the stolen flag with another one from Colonial Flags.

Kanshepolsky said the National Ability Center will display the donated flag at the organization’s Quinn’s Junction headquarters. The National Ability Center is a not-for-profit organization that offers sports and recreation programs for the disabled. The organization says approximately 30 percent of the people who participate in National Ability Center programs are veterans or their families.

"Many of us are continually humbled by what our servicemen and women do on behalf of our country," Kanshepolsky said.

The Police Department said after the theft an officer on patrol on Sullivan Road saw a men seeming to adjust the flag and then putting it into a backpack at 11:20 p.m. The man left riding a bicycle on a City Park trail. The officer drove through the parking lot, but the man was gone, the police said, indicating four officers searched for the suspect. The officer did not get a good look at the suspect since it was dark.

Darwin Little, a police lieutenant, acknowledged on Friday it will be difficult to solve the case since investigators have little evidence.

People with information about the theft may contact the Police Department at 615-5500 or the department’s tip line, 615-5847. The department also operates an online tip form,