Locals have been sharing and responding to social media posts claiming to be from Left Behind USA planning a July 4 “peaceful flag burning” event sponsored by Antifa at the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
The posts are advertising free entry, but are also refusing bikers, militias and other patriots.
Northern Blair County residents have said the thought of the unconfirmed event is “disgusting” and that the event “must stop.” Some have commented, “It literally makes me sick,” and that the idea is “a bad move.”
Pennsylvania residents and locals fear the event, if real, will go beyond flag burning and that historical monuments and graves will be destroyed.
“Go protest somewhere else, this is sacred ground,” said Chip Dillon of Tyrone, who reenacts, often plays Taps at Gettysburg and honors the veterans. “Men from both sides fought and died where the cemetery is and many veterans from the Civil War to current day are buried there. This is so wrong in many, many ways.”
“This craziness has got to stop,” commented Donna Glunt of Tyrone. “Such a disgrace.”
A Gettysburg Police Department press release on the “possible” flag burning states the department is aware of the threat that has been circulating via social media.
“We have our collective criminal intelligence sections evaluating the posts to obtain all possible information,” the department said. “We are jointly and cooperatively working on this and are planning a measured response.”
The coordinated response would include efforts from federal, state, and local agencies. They say precautions are being taken to maintain the safety of residents and visitors, and properties
The Pennsylvania State Militia said its members will be there to offer assistance to maximize protection efforts, and will not interfere with police or government operations.
The Gettysburg Times reported last week that no permit has been requested for an event, but that park personnel have collaborated with law enforcement to monitor social media posts and prepare for an event should one occur.