Members of a veterans firing squad fire blank rounds during a Veterans Day service on the flag-lined Livermore Falls Memorial Bridge on Route 4 in 2009.

LIVERMORE FALLS — Nearly half of the U.S. flags that line Memorial Bridge that goes over the Androscoggin River were snapped off either Friday night or early Saturday.

It was not the first time the flags have been vandalized. Twenty-five of the flags were snapped in June 2015.

Pat Knowlton and her husband, Wayne of Livermore Falls install 100 small flags, 50 on each side of the bridge, the week before Memorial Day each year. 

Sonny LaFreniere of Livermore notified the Knowltons of the vandalism.

About 45 of them on the left side of the bridge, coming from the Livermore Falls, were snapped off. About 20 of them were found lying on the ground. It is believed the rest went into the river, Pat Knowlton said.

Her husband makes the wooden, friction holders to hold the flags. He had to drill out the remaining pieces of the flag sticks. He took all of the flags down this past weekend.

They were due to come down any time now, she said.

The flags come from the American Legion Post 10 in Livermore Falls. They cost 74 cents each when new, member Don Simoneau of Fayette said. The money for them comes from donations, he said.

The Knowltons buy the wood for the holders.

The flags are recycled from the flags that are placed on veterans’ graves each year. The old flags are given to the Knowltons to put up on the bridge, Pat Knowlton previously said.

People started calling the Knowltons on Saturday about the broken flags. They were upset, she said.

“People really appreciate the flags,” she said.  “We definitely will put them up next year.”

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.