Protests Planned at Soldier’s Funeral Friday

Military reporter Ed Friedrich wrote today about a small Kansas congregation known for its anti-gay message who plan to demonstrate during a memorial service Friday for a Bremerton soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Ed writes: That comes following passage of a state law in January, which requires protestors to remain 500 feet or more from funeral processions, the grave site and the funeral home or building where a funeral service is taking place. The law was passed in response to protests at soldiers’ funerals.

The article goes on:

There will be sufficient deputies on hand to enforce the law, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Wilson said.

“We will have adequate law enforcement to ensure the peace, as distasteful as this group may be, and to make sure the family has a right to conduct a memorial service in dignity and privacy,” he said.

The funeral is for Sgt. 1st Class Johnny C. Walls, a 1985 Bremerton High graduate who died Nov. 2 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire. His mother, stepfather, sister and a pair of grandparents live in Port Orchard. The funeral is at 2 p.m. Friday at Christian Life Center, 1780 SE Lincoln Ave.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka have gained notoriety by demonstrating at military funerals across the country, claiming God is killing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to punish the United States for tolerating homosexuality.

Church officials contacted the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office to tell it that five to 10 members would be picketing at the busy intersection of Bethel Road and Lund Avenue, Wilson said. The group also lists the demonstration on its Web site.

A counter demonstration is also planned.

5 thoughts on “Protests Planned at Soldier’s Funeral Friday

  1. I read with great sadness and anger at the group coming from Kansas to protest the Service of Johnny Walls at the Christian Life Church. WELL…… I have NEVER protested anything publicly, but I WILL be at the corner of Lund and Bethel to COUNTER-PROTEST these so-called church people !!!! What audacity to blame the deaths of OUR servicemen on what THEY think is God’s anger for Homosexuality !!!! NONSENSE
    is what I say. I will be there with my flag, along with my husband and members of MY family and Friends to SUPPORT OUR
    TROOPS !! We need to let these people from Kansas know that we are not going to tolerate
    them !! PLEASE !!!! Come and SUPPORT OUR TROOPS no matter what you think of our Goverment’s decision. This Death of a Soldier because of Homosexuality is RIDICULOUS !!
    Anyone in ???????
    I will be there AT LE

  2. Unfortunately, or ironically, Sgt. 1st Class Johnny C. Walls died so that these protesters have the right to protest. Thanks to Sgt. Walls, we live in a country where people can speak their mind, even if they don’t have one. Karen

  3. Many thanks to all those waving flags today and to the Patriot Guard!

    To the family of Sgt. Walls, you have our family’s deepest respect and gratitude.

    Kathryn Simpson

  4. I was very touched by the number of people who came out to support the family. They came from all segments of society and stood waving their flags. It was very beautiful.

  5. I think we can be very proud of the way our community responded to this fringe group. Trying to use the death of a good american and suffering of their family to push an extremist cause is just plain wrong. Good job Kitsap County.


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