MIDDLEBURY, Vermont (WPTZ) -- Protesters took apart a memorial dedicated to the victims of September 11 at Vermont's Middlebury College Wednesday, stuffing nearly 3,000 flags representing the number of lives lost into trash bags.
The annual tribute features 2,977 flags representing the number of victims that day.
Junior Ben Kinney was one of the organizers. He said he was walking toward the memorial Wednesday afternoon when he saw five people taking flags out of the ground.
"At first I thought, because there was a rainstorm coming in, they were cleaning them up," Kinney said.
But that's not what they were doing. The group was putting the flags in trash bags, claiming the flags were on what was an Abenaki burial ground.
"To them the flags symbolized basically death and oppression and that they were protesting American imperialism and that they were going to confiscate the flags," Kinney said. "They said that to me."