The 128 Canadian flags from Veterans Voices of Canada hadn't even been flapping in Windsor's Assumption Park for 48 hours when "hero plaques" plaques recognizing the sacrifice of veterans went missing.
The Flags of Remembrance ceremony was meant to honour the 128,000 Canadian service men and women who are missing or killed in action during conflicts spanning from the Boer War to the present.
"It was just beautiful," said Terri Davis-Fitzpatrick who organized Saturday's event. But by Sunday morning five sponsored plaques suspended on flag poles were gone.
"I went right down after work and I had to take them off because it was just going to keep happening," she said. "It's very disheartening and disappointing to say the least."
One of the plaques honoured Davis-Fitzpatrick's 95-year-old father, a veteran of the Second World War. She hasn't had the heart to tell him what happened.
Windsor police patrol the area, but officers didn't see any sign of vandalism, so Davis-Fitzpatrick isn't sure how they went missing — she just hopes they're not resting at the bottom of the Detroit River.
"Maybe [whoever did this] just doesn't understand what it's all about,"she said. "Perhaps they weren't taught the importance of our veterans and the sacrifices they made so we can enjoy our freedom."
The flags are meant to fly until Remembrance Day, and Davis-Fitzpatrick said volunteers will now be keeping an eye on them day and night.
The group plans to turn the flag initiative into an annual event and next year the plaques will be back with a different mounting system.
"We're not going to let that discourage us one bit," said Davis-Fitzpatrick . "Our flags are there to honour our veterans and there they'll stay."