Hero of the Week: Weston, Missouri

Updated: November 8, 2010

“We remember,” organizer Rebecca Rooney said with a shrug when she was interviewed.  The look on her was one that said “everyone should be doing this,” which was to help organize her town into one of the most awesome displays of patriotism and community respect the United States has seen in a long time.

This weekend a hero by the name of 1st SGT CJ Sadell was buried in Ms. Rooney’s town of Weston, Missouri.   Sadell died from wounds suffered in Afghanistan.   Weston, a small town right on the Kansas/Missouri border was told that Fred Phelps and his group of, umm, “church members” were going to be protesting the funeral.  The Westboro Baptist Church applied for and was granted the appropriate permit to assemble as is their 1st amendment right, the day of the funeral.  They also made it clear they were going to show up.

Mrs. Rooney and other members of her community decided that wasn’t acceptable.  She took a second to assess the situation and came up with the most effective counter to Westboro’s protests and message of hate: beat them at their own game.

Mrs. Rooney and her fellow town members got to the spot early.  With flags, patriotic music, respect and love in their hearts they stood on the very ground that the Westboro folks had planned to protest.   They took all the parking spaces close to the site, brought an American flag so large that the hateful signs couldn’t be seen, and took up as much of the space as they could to shield 1st SGT Sadell’s grieving family.  Westboro’s people took one look at the town armed with pride and respect and did what cowards do: ran, quickly.

Edmund Burke once wrote that all that was needed for evil to thrive was for good people to do nothing.  It’s an overused and sometimes cliché thing to say, but moments like this are a great reminder of the truth inherent in the statement.  For a few hours on a Saturday morning a community decided to care about their neighbor.  They decided that it was important to honor a man who had sacrificed his life for their freedom and safety and that it was not acceptable for a few people that belong in the loony bin to harm such a man’s family.

It’s also the game plan for stopping nut jobs like Fred Phelps.

“I think they didn’t do their opposition research very well,” Mrs. Rooney “If they knew Weston, it’s a patriotic town.”

Mrs. Rooney, to you and the rest of the town of Weston, Missouri thank you for reminding all of us what happens when a few of the good guys step up to the plate and say “Not in our town.”  Thank you for standing up for the troops and for caring and supporting those in your community.  Thank you too, for giving others a blueprint on how to keep Westboro Baptist “Church” permanently in Douchebagistan.




  1. Eli

    November 9, 2010 at 9:23 am

    step 2: we need a grass-roots movement to monitor using the Freedom of Information Act to know where these jackasses file for permits, and have short-string (24hr) QRFs to show up & do similar activities. Of course, WBC will adapt by filing for multiple permits on the same date in different towns, but by doing some anaylsis we can block the sites CLOSEST to them. If nothing else, we will cost them more resources by forcing them to travel further…Most likely, we can show them up a couple times and they will do something stupid- I doubt they have the discipline of action that we do- and they will expose themselves with a violent or illegal act out of frustration.

  2. Cale

    November 9, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I was a public affairs representative for the National Guard at a soldier’s funeral in the Chicago area a few years back. Westboro showed up and was given a spot along the route to the cemetery to protest. Coincidentally, we had a last minute change in the route. Westboro didn’t get the notice.

  3. Carol Tuttle

    November 9, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I am so happy that the Westboro Baptist Church members were unable to proceed with their protest of the young soldier who died for his country and others for freedom. They are not nice people at all! There should be some law that these people cannot interfere with a funeral of a soldier’s family and friends. They are involved with the devil!!!

  4. Dittoe

    November 9, 2010 at 11:20 am

    The video for this is touching as well. Believe it or not, the news was actually showing it. I seen it on Fox and CNN. Im sure there might be more, but i was already alittle teary eyed watching the townspeople. Lets hope the rest of America starts doing this too. Thank God for the Patriot Guard for already doing something similiar.

  5. JG

    November 9, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Um… we’er’s a scout sniper when you need one? (great t-shirt as well, thank you, lol). It’s a sad thing that someone like Mr. Phelps is a ‘preacher’ of God. He & his ‘church’ are of the devil. To reiterate Mr. Edmund Burke “all that is needed for evil to thrive is for good people to do nothing”. Once again where’s a scout sniper when ya need one?

  6. Monte 7

    November 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Small victories, another win for the good guys! we need to accumulate many more wins like this one. The Combat Vets Motorcycle Association (CVMA) does similar rides and escorts to show support for these families. Every Vet or widow(er) deserves to grieve in peace. Keep up the good work RU!

  7. Nanc

    November 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    This “church” is all about the mighty dollar (and child molestation).

    They make all of their money (millions, by the way) by suing for their “rights”.

    This is exactly the type of protest that needs to be done EVERYWHERE to this group. It can’t be the cities, law enforcement, any public official, etc. -Also, people can’t “stop” them —that’s how they win money.

    What people need to do is exactly this – make it so uncomfortable for them that they leave.

    However, since they use this to get money – don’t expect them to stop any time soon….there are too many millions at stake for them.

    Disgusting excuse for a church and it is for sure NOT God that is controlling them….

  8. mindy1

    November 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    May the Westboro church rot in hell for tormenting military families

  9. Joe

    November 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Religion is bullshit. Every religion and every denomination has the potential to turn into shitbags like these.

    That being said, I think you should be able to worship however you want. Unless you’re Westboro, then the public should be allowed to wreck your shit.

  10. rook

    September 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    We had a soldier that had died in Afghanistan in my home town. He was brought home for burial. Westboro applied to protest in my home town and was granted the proper paper work to do so. they planned to protest in the parking lot of the baptist church across the street form the burial. and so the patriot guard riders showed up with flags to shield the family from the protesters. But also the church the planed to protest in the parking lot of told them that they couldn’t protest there which left them in a gas station. westboro never even showed up.

  11. EngineerChick

    January 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Unfortunately, the WBC idiots are just over an hour’s drive from my home of Olathe, KS. When SPC Spencer Duncan came home for the last time after his Chinook was shot down carrying SEALs to another mission (Aug 2011 – 31 KIA). I’ve never been more proud to live where I do, than the day Spencer’s body came home. The ENTIRE route from the New Century Airfield (where Spencer’s unit is based and where the Angel Flight landed) to the funeral home, which was several miles, was lined, several deep with my neighbors – all carrying flags and signs of love and respect. Part of the route passed Olathe South HS, where Spencer graduated – the administration of bothe the high school and the middle school next door stopped classes, opened the doors and the students all poured outside to stand under a huge US flag suspended between the extended ladders of two OFD trucks. Spencer’s mother was interviewed several days later and she said she was overwhelmed by the show of love and support of our community. Not a WBC idiot in sight, thank God. Groups like them are only successful when good people do nothing. Olathe is about 60 miles from Topeka – if they truly believed their own filth, no amount of opposition would stop them. The fact that they don’t show up in places like Weston and Olathe just proves that they are not just idiots, but delusional cowards.

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