Thursday, August 18, 2011

Respect for the Fallen

Four men will be laid to rest this week in our area as a result of Taliban insurgents shooting down the Chinook transport helicopter in which they were riding during a night raid in Afghanistan.  They were among the 38 on board that lost their lives on August 6, 2011.


This has been a solemn week in Olathe, KS.  Tuesday 15,000+ people lined the streets near my house as the funeral procession went by for Army Spc. Spencer Duncan. His  remains were brought back to his hometown, Olathe, KS.  His funeral services will be held this morning (Thursday).

 Tuesday, we  received an email from our church regarding the services for US Navy CPO (SEAL) Matt Mason.   Here is a small excerpt...

On Wednesday morning The Church of the Resurrection is hosting the funeral for Matt Mason, one of the Navy Seals who died in Afghanistan last week. Several of Matt and Jessica's friends are members of our church and we are honored to serve the family and to make our building, volunteers and staff available to care for them.  I will be assisting with the service but the Mason's pastor from San Diego will preach.
We understand that the Topeka "church" that seems to specialize in spreading hurt and hate plans to protest from 135th Street.  We've discussed a variety of options for addressing these protesters but in the end we believe that the best approach is to ignore them. They come seeking publicity and attention.  We'd rather not give it to them.  I'm hoping the media, too, might simply ignore them.  They are a very small group that shows up at funerals because it gets them noticed.  I wonder how long they would do this if no one paid them any attention.

I am told there are some planning to counter-protest.  I would discourage you from participating - it only makes for a bigger media event.  The Patriot Guard Riders will be here ensuring the family doesn't see the protester's signs. 

Sure enough, I look up the schedule for the Westboro Baptist hatemongers and this funeral is on the schedule. Now this just makes me tremendously sad.

Yesterday morning, like every Wednesday morning, I meet a group of ladies for coffee at the Panera Bread Company that is located one block west from our church.  As we were settling in for our chat, the cafe started to fill up with the Patriot Guard Riders.  If you are not familiar with  Patriot Guard Riders  you can click  here for more information.

The Patriot Guard Riders and another group that is named Patriot Guards come to funerals as invited guests of the families and they form a barrier to keep the family from having to view the likes of demonstrators and protesters that disrespect the funerals of individuals that give their lives to service for their country or community.  This includes military, firefighters and police officers.

Yesterday, Matt Mason's family did not see the protesters. I have a tape of the protesters being held back  back by the Patriot Guard Riders but decided not to post it as I don't want the hatemongers to get any exposure.  I will instead, insert a picture taken outside of the church.

Today, the service will be held for US Army Spc Spencer Duncan at another Olathe church. The Patriot Guards will be there as well.

I send up my sincerest condolences for the families and friends for all the men that lost their lives.


Sister Kiwi said...

I'm not sure if I should be mad at you for making me cry this morning, or glad because it shows I'm not beyond feeling in the face of these things. I'm going with glad...

Jewell said...

Well I know I have been seriously remiss in commenting lately, but since I am in the car I have time. And I have to tell you that I am seriously sucking up a huge urge to bawl over this post. The reasons behind the reaction are many....thankfully none personal, but more out of a deep love of country and those that serve and their families.

I am so joining the Patriot Guard Riders when I get a motorcycle....and maybe some brass knuckles.

Way to go Cheryl....the runny nose is all your fault.

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Sister Kiwi, It's so nice to see a new person stopping by. Welcome!!!
I am sorry to make you sad. This week has been very emotional with all the activities relating to these heroes being laid to rest.

I think I worry that I am becoming desensatized by all the media. But seeing the streets lined with those that choose to be respectful patriots fills me with pride.

Cheryl P. said...

I have truly missed you my friend, but understand the need to pull back on the blogging. I am going to post a "ON VACATION" notice within the next week or so to take at least a week off. I am so far behind on some projects that I can't see straight.

Hope all is going well with you and your husband him. When you have time shoot me a email and let's get caught up. Thought I was going to take a trip you way but the new roof is going up as we speak. There is always something that is getting in the way of something else.

Still, hopeful to get down your way before cold weather.

SisterKiwi/SouthernKiwi said...

No - I wasn't sad at all. More like touched, especially by that video. Thanks for posting it.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

God bless the Patriot Guard Riders! People like this are a staunch reminder that there ARE good people left in the world. My husband has a Harley, and he talks about joining them one day. I'd be proud to ride alongside such amazing people.

So sorry about your community's losses. I am always grateful for our soldiers.

Cheryl P. said...

I am so glad you came by, Sister Kiwi. Thanks for the nice feedback.

Nicky said...

A beautiful tribute, Cheryl. Really beautiful.

Cheryl P. said...

I absolutely agree with you about the Patriot Guard and the Patriot Guard Riders. What a fine thing for them to do. Providing grieving families the opportunity to bury their loved ones without the interference of protesters. Isn't it a shame we live in a world that people could be that heartless?

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you Nicky!

Junebug said...

One of my HS classmates watched the processional and admitted he cried.

I'm a bit unpopular because I do believe that nasty group has the right to protest. It is despicable, rude, etc. but they have the right to it. I say this as someone who had them protest outside my church a couple months ago. However, I love that the Patriot Guards were born from what was just a negative. I think the publicity should only be on the Patriot Guards and absolutely nothing should be said about those other people. When it stops being a publicity stunt and it doesn't produce any money - they will stop. We keep rewarding the bad child. It is time to reward the good kids.

Last year at Veteran's Day we heard from a young man who had been a POW in Iraq. It was so moving. They built the boots/gun/hat and it just made me cry. That image is a tear jerker for me every time.

Cheryl P. said...

As it is there right to protest, however dispicable it is, I too, think that the Patriot Guard is handling it well. They provide a barrier and stand in a respectful row holding flags that act as a wall between the protesters and the mourners. I think that the less visablity and exposure this group gets the sooner they will go away.

Patriot said...

I am just passing through here.
I was amongst the group on the street corner "counterprotesting" WBC.
While I find the Patriot Guard to be awesome, to my knowledge there were no members of the Patriot Guard on that street corner "holding back" the Westboro crew. We were all just folks who showed up. There were a number of veterans in our number. This may have been what caused the mistaken idea that the Patriot Guard was there.
Another observation that I would like to make is the fact that much is made of that hatemonger crew having freedom of speech. I would like to point out that I, too, have freedom of speech and have the right to express my admiration for the brave men and women who put themselves in harm's way every day on our behalf. I also have freedom of speech to express my love for this country and my unwillingness to let such people degrade this country and the military who protects her. I do not feel that such degradation in speech and action is pleasing to God.
You, too, have freedom of speech. I believe that it is about time all of us exercise this freedom of speech on behalf of our country, our military, our beliefs, and our ideals.
Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because I grew up in the Viet Nam generation and my husband is a veteran of Viet Nam. We all witnessed our soldiers spat upon and called "baby killers" by their own countrymen.
I, for one, have vowed NEVER AGAIN.

Cheryl P. said...

Welcome! Happy to have you passing through. I can't verify if the Patriot Guard or the Patriot Guard Riders were actually there or not. I got my information from both the Pastor of the Church of The Resserection saying they would be there and both websites (Patriot Guard and Patriot Guard Riders) I, also, know that a number of veterans were in attendance as is the case with any loss of a soldier.
My brother served 26 months in Viet Nam and my husband served state side during Viet Nam so I too find groups that disrespect our troops are indeed insulting our Nation. I am sure that you are also correct that God couldn't be pleased with this either. I have to believe that the group that acts like that esp. in the name of God will have to deal with it on a higher level at some point.