Columbia citizens show respect for fallen soldier Spc. Sterling Wyatt

Thousands of people and hundreds of motorcycles lined both sides of Broadway outside the First Baptist Church during the funeral of Spc. Sterling Wyatt.

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.

Mission accomplished.

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.

It was an incredibly respectful and honorable send off for Spc Wyatt.

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9 responses to “Columbia citizens show respect for fallen soldier Spc. Sterling Wyatt

  1. Amerycanrebel

    The city of Columbia did good today and the Sterling’s family, I’m sure, is very grateful for all the support from the citizens of Columbia and surrounding communities.

    • Karen Mitchell

      I agree with you. The city did the right thing by closing down Broadway and allowing these thousands of people to express their appreciation and respect for the soldier and his family.

  2. My daughter and I were two of the many supporters today for the Sterling Wyatt service. It was quite amazing to see the support this community has for it’s fallen soldiers.

  3. great photos and article on the days events.

  4. WBC are idiots and if I had not been out of town at the time I would have been there in red. This may not be the most appropriate time to bring up a concern I have, but when is? I don’t know SW’s reason for joining the military. Hopefully he made a rational and well informed decision to do so. My fear is that we continue to lose more young people who are not so well informed and join for idealistic reasons related to “preserving freedom”. Every potential recruit should understand the economic and political realities before making a decision. The older generation owes to the younger some caring and rational guidance here. Glorification of warfare has no place. Our national cemeteries are overflowing with dead heroes.

  5. Karen, You captured to mood with pictures. James and I were both touched by the turn out on Saturday.

    • Karen Mitchell

      Thank you so much. The toughest part about that day was trying to shoot between tears. Very touching day.

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