An American flag raised in a fallen soldier's honor that was stolen over the weekend has been returned.
The person who found it works at Skyland Discount Drugs on Government Boulevard. That's about half a mile from the Sky Ranch subdivision where the flagpole is located.
"It was the end of last week... I was coming into work and we noticed it on top of our Coke machine outside. We brought it in hoping someone would come looking for it... It was a very nice flag and then last night I was watching the news and saw the story and just kind of put two and two and two together," said Cindy Rohm, Skyland Drugs Pharmacy.
Rohm called FOX 10 News and we were able to reunite Cote's family with the American flag. After inspecting it they were able to confirm it was theirs. They say not only is the same size, but it was purchased at Alabama Flag and Banner where they purchased the flag late last year.
The flag was raised in memory of Army Specialist Michael Cote', who was killed when a Blackhawk crashed in Iraq on September 19, 2009. His 8-year-old daughter Brooke clung tight to the flag after picking it up at Skyland Drugs. The family's tears have now turned to smiles.
"We are absolutely elated. I never had any idea that it would come to this conclusion," said Paul Edmondson, Cote's father-in-law.
Wasting no time, they were proudly raising it back up within the hour. They all agree the red, white, and blue never looked so good.
"We never dreamed that we would be here today with this outcome and all I can do is say the news media is what brought it around for us I believe... Okay - bottom line. Thanks," said Edmondson.
For little Brooke, she's just glad her daddy's flag is back where it belongs.
"The feeling was like the flag is up now... And we don't have to search for it anymore... It's just not going to be gone anymore... It's part of the neighborhood," said Brooke.
Serving as a symbol freedom and the cost that comes with it -- it's taking on a whole new meaning for those now connected to the flag.
"Because I drive home that way... And now I will most definitely look over and see it fly," said Kohm.
After the story aired Monday night, Cote's family says they were flooded with veterans and others in the community wanting to replace the flag.
Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne also saw the story on FOX10 News. After it aired, his office sent an email offering the family a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol.
"Hey Lee: The Congressman saw your story on the Edmondson family and their missing flag. He called them this afternoon to let them know he will be sending them a new flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol in memory of their son-in-law. We obviously can't replace the stolen flag, but the Congressman wanted to make sure they had an appropriate replacement! - Seth Morrow, Deputy Chief of Staff/Communications Director, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1)"
Meanwhile, the subdivision's garden club is looking into surveillance options moving forward.