The Westboro Baptist Church people know how to draw a crowd.
Today’s crowd was mostly in opposition to the Westboro people and their anti-soldier rhetoric. About six members of the church showed up to protest at the funeral of Spc. Sterling Wyatt but they were swallowed up by the thousands of citizens turned out to support the Wyatt family and to try to assure a peaceful, respectful funeral for their lost soldier.
People from Columbia and around mid-Missouri showed up to say, “You will not dishonor one of ours.” Dressed in red, they stood quietly a peacefully around First Baptist Church, creating a “human wall” so that those from Westboro could not be seen or heard by the Wyatt family.
We must remember that this wasn’t an event, this was a funeral. Sterling Wyatt was a Columbia native who was killed by an IED July 11, 2012, while on patrol in Kandahar Province Afghanistan. He was two months shy of his 22nd birthday.
The Patriot Guard was there, as requested by the family. Hundreds of motorcyclists lead the procession to the cemetery.
Shortly before the end of the service many of the people left to find spots along the city streets to continue the show of support from the church to the cemetery. Many members of the funeral party thanked the people as they drove along the route to the cemetery.