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Flag flown in show of support is burned

Thursday, September 20, 2001

The terrorists' attacks last week produced an outpouring of patriotism not seen in this country since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and Nick Marinos was swept up in the tide.

On Saturday, Marinos' mother-in-law gave him the American flag that had covered her husband's coffin 21 years ago and he draped it over the cedar siding of his home in New Stanton.

Early Monday morning, Marinos was in bed when he was awakened by a noise.

"I looked out the window and [the flag] was in flames," he said yesterday. The flag was destroyed.

"It's a shame that at a time like this, people would stoop this low ... and have this much disrespect for the flag."

Marinos said he does not know who did it, but whether they are children or adults, he is not in a forgiving mood.

"If I would have caught them, it would have been the last one they would have done it to," he said. "My blood was boiling."

Marinos said the flag was given to his mother-in-law, Mary Thot of Youngwood, when her husband Leroy, a World War II veteran, died.

The treasured keepsake remained in Thot's cedar chest for more than two decades until this past weekend when she decided the time had come to display it in a patriotic reaction to the terrorists' attacks.

But the flag-burning did not blunt the spirit of the Marinos' household.

On Tuesday, Nick's 21-year-old son, Nicholas, enlisted in the Navy.

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