Flickr user harbor88
Update 7/7: After doing what Westboro "Church" does best -blowing hot air- they were, thankfully, a no-show to Sgt. Pate's funeral.
The threats of the Westboro Baptist Church protest seem to be just that. Surrounded by family, friends and an outpouring of community support fallen American hero, Sgt. Ralph E. Pate, Jr. was laid to rest last evening in peace.
Update 7/6: Video of last nights feature on WMBF News regarding the Westboro Baptist Church's protest today for Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate, Jr.
And please let us know if any of you may be attending Sgt. Pate's funneral or have heard of counter protests.
First Report 7/5: On Wednesday June 6, a faux Christian group will be in town again to protest a fallen Mullins native soldier.
The Westboro Baptist Church will return to the Myrtle Beach area, this time to protest the funeral of Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate, Jr. Pate, a 29 year old Marine who lost his life in Afghanistan on June 26. His body was returned on July 4th will be laid to rest Wednesday. His funeral will be at Mullins High School.
Westboro was in town to protest area High Schools in may of 2010. The group, best known for such hate-fulled slogans as, "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for 9/11," has stirred up controversy since their first big hate-fest, protesting the funeral of Mathew Shepard. Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998.
We hope that counter protesters come out the way they did at local High School last year to support the Pate family in their time of suffering. We at TheDigitel would aslo like to thank Sgt. Pate for his service.
Head over to WMBF News for the full story of the protest scheduled for Sgt. Pate's funeral.