Twister, sick protests

Published:

Daily News, Bowling Green

Families who have lost loved ones in combat deserve their private time with them during their funerals.

It is despicable some people protest at these funerals of young men and women killed defending our country.

They have no business at these ceremonies, which is why we are supportive of a bill that passed the Kentucky Senate last week and in the House on Monday that would keep protesters 300 feet from a funeral or a memorial service.

The bill comes in response to the disruptive antics of the radical Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose members travel the country protesting at funerals, holding signs that read, Thank God for IEDs, the improvised explosive devices that have claimed so many lives in Iraq. The group, which believes the U.S. government supports homosexuality, even went so far as to protest the funerals of coal miners killed in a West Virginia mine last month.

These are twisted, sick individuals whose freedom of speech is defended, ironically, by the same people they are protesting, fallen soldiers. Last year, they protested in our city at the funeral of a soldier from Morgantown, who was killed in Iraq.

The bill would prohibit demonstrators from making unreasonable noise or making any utterance, gesture, or display designed to outrage people attending memorial services. Several other states have similar bills pending. The General Assembly was trying to rush through the bill before the Feb. 8 funeral of Army Pfc. Scott A. Messer, who was killed Feb. 3 in Iraq. Both the Senate and House bills have emergency clauses, which allows them to become law upon the governors signature.

Families deserve their time to grieve and shouldnt have to be disrupted by the taunts and screams from a misguided few.

Its so hard on the families of loved ones and those that have lost and made the ultimate sacrifice, said Maj. Gen. Donald Strom, Kentuckys adjutant general. Its a slap in the face. But you know, theres a higher power and so we have to focus on the good things in this wonderful country.

We applaud the House for moving quickly in passing this important bill and sending it to the governor for his signature.

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