Saturday, May 7, 2011

Patriotic act turns into bin Laden nightmare for Ohio hotel

Saturday, May 7, 2011

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By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

The Hampton Inn hotel in Springfield, Ohio, had a community relations crisis on its hands earlier this week after its flagpole broke on the worst of all possible days.

The rope inside the hotel's flagpole broke Sunday as the hotel was replacing a fraying flag, leaving Old Glory stuck at half-mast for several days. Unfortunately for the hotel, it happened at the same time that the USA was absorbing news that a Navy Seal team had killed Osama bin Laden, the Springfield News-Sun reports.

Seeing the lowered flag, angry people started calling the hotel demanding to know if the hotel had lowered the flag on purpose - to honor the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, the story says.

"They're thinking we're supporters of (Osama) bin Laden," Connie Smith, the hotel's "flabbergasted" assistant general manager told the local paper. "We started getting calls left and right."

At the time the paper spoke to the hotel, the hotel had taken more than 20 phone calls from irate Springfielders. The story says:

One woman in tears demanded to know whether the hotel owners were from Iraq, Iran or Pakistan. (No, no and no.) "It was all over the fact that our flagpole broke," Smith said.

One man even called threatening to cut the flag pole down.

As the paper points out, the Hampton Inn hotel had been in the middle of a patriotic act - replacing its fraying flag when the rope broke.

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Posted May 6 2011 11:54AM

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