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We must honor fallen soldiers

October 6, 2011
Morning Journal News


My husband and I had occasion to travel to Carrollton last Friday. We had been to Bergholz just prior to that to remove the cemetery pots from my mother and father's gravesite. I was raised as most Americans were to respect the dead, and funerals deserve reverence and cemeteries are sacred and hallowed ground.

When we left the cemetery we traveled into Carrollton intending to come home to Salem through Malvern. As we entered the town we saw a road flare lit and lying on the side of the blacktop. Traveling on we saw a Carroll County sheriff's deputy sitting in a parked cruiser and entering the town square we saw a Carrollton police cruiser parked in the square with his lights flashing. There were no signs of an accident.

We stopped at the Virginia Restaurant and as we sat down at our table and our waitress was preparing to take our order we noticed several people stopping on the sidewalk and staring back toward the square. The waitress went to the window and looked out stating, "I can't see anything. I don't know if they showed up or not but the motorcycles came like they said they would."

It was then that I realized what was happening. The community was closing around and protecting one of their own in the most touching ways possible.

The funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Terry C. Wright was being held at the high school and there was the threat that the Westboro Baptist Church was going to stage one of their infamous protests. The Patriot Guard motorcycle members had shown up to drown out any noise of protest and the sheriff and police were guarding the funeral route as well.

I understand these protesters have the right to freedom of speech as do we all, but I fail to comprehend how spewing hatred and dishonoring a fallen soldier's funeral can be right or proper in God's eyes. The Savior that I worship taught us to love one another as ourselves and stated, "Greater love hath no man than that he should lay down his life for another."

Whether you agree with our troops being in Afghanistan and Iraq or not, causing this young man and other young soldiers' families such added pain on the day they are burying their loved one is an abomination of the true teachings of Christ.

If you want to protest then do so in the proper way by writing a letter to your president, and yes like him or not, President Obama is still our president. Write a letter to your Congressional members and the Senate but leave these shattered families to mourn and bury their soldiers in peace. They gave their last true measure of respect and courage for our country. They deserve nothing less from us.

Jenny Smith




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