A World War II memorial washed up on the New Jersey shore this summer and now officials are scrambling to find its owner.
The memorial consists of an American flag, a PVC pole and a laminated tribute sign to two World War II veterans: Charles Novara and Jay Waltman, Philadelphia’s WCAU-TV reported.
“We normally just find trash and debris,” Deputy New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner David Glass told the station. “We felt that it’s the right thing to do to get this back to the family members.”
Volunteer clean-up crews found the items during the agency’s annual beach clean-up off Seaside Heights and other communities that are part of the Barnegat Bay estuary.
So far the search for the memorial’s owner has yielded few clues. Officials only know Novara was buried in New York.
“We’ve been trying to find the family that planted [the flag] or the owners of the flag with no luck,” Glass told WCAU. “We’re hoping that someone will see the story, recognize the flag, recognize the photo, and reach out to us so we can return it to its proper owners.”
A DEP spokesman told the Point Pleasant Patch the flag’s relatively unweathered condition suggests the memorial was erected recently. He doesn’t believe it was lost during Superstorm Sandy.