Thief Steals an American Flag – Then Realizes How Important It Was


by Gina Cassini | Top Right News

A thief who stole a very special flag, gave in to pangs of conscience, when he returned it to its rightful owner — with an apology.

That’s because he stole it from the family of a firefighter killed on 9/11 

As the NYPost reported, The flag he stole flew over the World Trade Center during recovery efforts. The September 11th Families Association gave it to Melissa Brengel in honor of her 29-year-old brother, Jonathan Ielpi, an FDNY member who died when terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center.

Brengel reported the flag missing from her home in Huntington Station, L.I., on Tuesday.

The thief apparently heard the media reports regarding the theft after Ms. Brengel posted news of the theft 0n Facebook, because he folded it properly into a triangle, and returned it to the family — on July 4th — with a brief apology attached:

“I am so sorry. I had no idea”.


Melissa Brengel was thrilled to find the flag when she exited her home on July 4th morning.

“Good news,’’ she wrote her Facebook friends. “It was outside the house when we woke up.”  She continued:

Thank you all so much. We wouldn’t have gotten the flag back had it not been for all of your help. 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 conscience 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. Power in numbers and social media is an amazing thing.

I hope you all enjoy the Holiday weekend.  Again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
God Bless The USA

UPDATE: A nice postscript to this story is that, on Wednesday, just one day after Melissa posted the flag’s theft on Facebook, and with no fanfare, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a courier hand-deliver an additional, folded and framed flag that had also flown over the WTC site on 9/11. Kudos to the Mayor for showing tremendous class, and never forgetting the victims of that fateful day…



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