Missouri Town Stands Up To Westboro Baptist Church

WESTON, MO. — People in Weston, Missouri banded together on Saturday. They wanted to protect loved ones who were saying goodbye to a fallen soldier. They stood up to members of the Westboro Baptist Church who planned to protest at Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell's funeral.

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Sadell died October 24 from injuries he suffered in a surprise attack in Afghanistan. On Saturday, there was quite a turnout of people who wanted to keep the protesters away from the funeral.

"I'd say probably half the people in Weston are here," said Eric Moser, Marine Corp veteran.

Weston has less than 2,000 residents, but hundreds of people showed up to support the family of First Sgt. Sadell.

Sadell was in the Arif Kala region of Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed October 5. Five soldiers died and Sadell was badly injured.

"If you think about it, they've all gone to serve just so we could be able to do this," said Rebecca Rooney who organized the supporters. "He didn't die in vain."

Rebecca Rooney is a Weston resident who wanted to stand up against Fred Phelps and his followers.

"We got everybody here early so we could take up all the parking spots," Rooney said ."We did that so Mr. Phelps wouldn't have a contingency that was really close."

Supporters came armed with patriotic music and American flags.

Protesters didn't stick around long once they saw the supporters.

"I'm glad they left, but I'm sad they came," Rooney said.

People came from Blue Springs, California and even Australia to be a part of the band of patriotic supporters. Half of the group lined up at the intersection while the the other half created a human shield at the funeral home.

C.J. Sadell was 34-years-old. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.

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