Thursday, July 25, 2013

Standing Up For What I Believe In....Literally

I skipped yesterday, simply because I didn't have a whole lot going on other than grocery shopping... so I wasn't really motivated to write.

Which usually doesn't happen... but I wrote on my other blog, and that took out of me what I needed to get out.

I thought about writing this post, yesterday, but I needed more information and to see how stuff played out before I did... but now I'm ready to write it.

My new house is located in a town that is not new to me.  I spent about seven years living here, minus a few breaks here and there, before I moved in to my old house seven years ago one town over.  And, now I'm back.  

I feel a connection to this town...even though I don't really know that many people here.  I've made some friends over the years that live here, but it wasn't from me living here that got us together.  I pretty much stay to myself, don't socialize with anyone here, but love the town.

Anywho, I'm a member of a Facebook group that is basically an online yard sale - specific to this town.  People post stuff they want to sell, others buy know what I'm talking about.

I was perusing around yesterday on the page, when I discovered a post that immediately caught my attention.

This past weekend, a local marine was killed in action.  He was only 19 years old.  His funeral is set for today, right here in town.  

That, unfortunately, wasn't the news.  

The post went on to say that a certain organization, that has the audacity to call themselves a church group, were planning on protesting at this young man's funeral.  A link to the press release on the organization's page was left...and I clicked on it.  (You will notice that I don't use their name at all, because I'm sure my keyboard will fizzle out from under me if I do)

My stomach almost came up in to my mouth.  The sick and vial things that horrible group had to say about this devoted young man and his service to this country.  

It took all of two seconds to copy and paste the post from the group on to my own feed.

Now, just a mere 24 hours later, I know that the funeral this man was going to have will be a much larger affair than originally planned.  What was possibly going to just be family and friends has now turned in to so much more.

An entire town is going to attend that funeral.  Myself included.

I don't know him.  I don't know any of his family members.  I don't even know any of his acquaintances.  But, I'm going.  Not as a curious spectator... but as a part of a human wall.  The wall that this entire town is going to build around the funeral - protecting it from anybody that dares try to protest.  

Yesterday afternoon, a man and a few volunteers put up 2300 American flags that line the streets of our little town.  The sight, that I've only seen in pictures, is breath taking.  I plan on taking a little drive here in a while to capture some pictures of my own.  

Then, at 1PM, myself along with goodness knows how many people from our town and neighboring towns will be meeting outside of the church to prepare our wall.

The Patriot Guard will be here.  They are the bikers that show up at military funerals to protect the family from protesters.  Other bikers will be here.  Complete strangers, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends will be here.  We will all stand, for as long as the wall needs to be - and more - to give this young man the funeral he deserves...without the nasty spill of hate seeping over.

The truth is, the organization may not even show up.  In fact, the likelihood that they won't show up is pretty high.  They like to post stuff on their website to get people all rallied up and upset, and then not follow through on it.  That's what they do.  But, in a way, I'm kinda glad they do.

Had this vicious organization let this one go, not bother to post about it or say anything... those that new the young marine may have attended the funeral.  Those that grew up in the town may have heard about his death.  It may have been a pretty large service, but only to those that knew him or had maybe come in to contact with family members and friends along the way.

I certainly wouldn't have gone.  I wouldn't have even heard about it... unless reading about it on a news feed, maybe.  The Patriot Guard wouldn't have shown up.  The bikers that I have heard all morning probably wouldn't have been here.  Those people that are traveling in from neighboring towns wouldn't have made the drive.

But we all are now.  We are all going to attend.  We are all going to stand together as a town, a community, to support a complete stranger... one of our own.

I wonder if the horrible people from that organization even think about the support and love that is sparked by their nasty actions.  

As they say hurtful things, horrible things, they definitely get some attention.  But, the attention they get surely can't be what they are bargaining for.  A whole town, complete strangers, people from neighboring towns standing together to honor a brave man who lost his life in action?  

There is no amount of those people that can show up that would even cause a dent in the masses that will undoubtedly stand outside that church today.  

They want anger.  They want violence.  They want rage.

What they will be met with is a display of love.  Gratitude.  Honor.

We don't have time to retaliate towards them.  We aren't stupid enough to fall in to those traps of hidden cameras just waiting to catch someone cause one of them harm.  We aren't careless enough to cause a scene that may upset the services taking place in that church.

We are a town of love.  Support.  We will stand in silence.  We will stand with honor.  We will not be harassed or intimidated.  We will not allow any hate to overcome us.  We are there to do our service for  a young man that was taken much too soon.  To devote our wall to him.  To show our gratitude and our thanks.  

And I feel it a privilege and honor that I will be a part of it today.  I will stand with my head held high... standing up for what I believe in.  The right for a family to grieve over their heroic son.  In peace.

Whether the organization shows up or not is totally obsolete at this point.  Because they have succeeded in doing one thing... and that's bringing a town together to show that we have no room for hate here.  That we will stand together.  

And maybe, just maybe... one day, those horrible people will get it in to their thick skulls that the more they promote their hate, the more people there will be to stand together to prove them wrong.

It's time for me to go and get ready.


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