On July 21, Lansdale Police announced they were looking for information in relation to the theft of 56 military medals from the graves of veterans in Montgomery County, PA. The mostly bronze medals were noticeably missing when veterans gathered to service the graves, which is something they do annually.
“This is a first for Lansdale. Actually, most of the medals that were taken were quite old and had existed in the cemetery for quite a long time,” said Lansdale Mayor Garry Herbert.
Vietnam veteran Ivan Eibreim, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter that services the graves in Lansdale Cemetery, said the group is fundraising to replace the medals with plastic ones. “We can’t get the metal ones anymore because they steal them all the time,” Eibreim stated.
Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale issued a statement regarding the theft. “It is heartbreaking to learn that military medals are being stolen for scrap. This act of vandalism is further evidence that respect for our military is eroding by the day,” said Gale.
Gale went on to blast Montgomery County Democrats over their attempt to prevent veterans from servicing graves on Memorial Day, 2020. “It was only a year ago today that the Democrat Montgomery County Commissioners refused to distribute American flags at cemeteries on Memorial Day due to ridiculous concerns that doing so would cause a coronavirus outbreak.”
Gale’s colleagues voted 2-to-1 against allowing local veterans groups to place flags by the graves of fallen vets in 2020.
Despite being the lone vote in support of the measure, Gale worked with local veterans organizations in an effort to place the flags anyway. They ultimately raised over $7,000 and purchased over 1,000 flags. The Commissioner later accompanied a group and helped to distribute flags at a Conshohocken cemetery on Memorial Day. “It was somber,” a veteran told ABC Philadelphia at the time.
“Currently there are no suspects. We are asking anyone that may have information about the theft of the Military Grave Markers to please contact the Lansdale Borough Police Department at 215-368-1801,” police said in a statement.