92-year-old Howard Banks, a World War II veteran, was in his house when he heard someone trying to pull down his flag.
Howard, who is legally blind, has a sharp memory. On the day before his birthday, he heard the trespasser and went to investigate.
“I walked out, hanging onto the railing and stepped down. That must’ve startled them,” he said.
He was determined to protect his flag after the previous one was shredded, and his Marine flag was ripped.
He said, “They could see me. I couldn’t see them. I turned and looked in the other direction, and about then — ‘wham!’ They knocked me down.”
As neighbors rushed to help Banks, the culprit ran off. Banks was left legally blind by a flare in Iwo Jima.
He sustained several bumps and bruises as well as a twisted knee during the attack.
“On this forearm, it’s kind of sore and rough,” Banks said. “Both of them. I’ve still got soreness here, but I’m durable. I can take it.”
He maintained that the attack would not deter him from displaying the American flag in honor of the veterans who sacrificed and served their country.
“I think we all had that same feeling, that the flag was our identity. We were Americans,” he said. “The fact that I’m getting older, and the less I can do… at least I can still do that.”
He stated that he never heard the culprit’s voice, so he is unsure of their identity. In the meantime, his daughter, his neighbors, and officers are keeping a close eye on Banks and his flags.