The family of Spc. Shan Lively learned that East Tennesseeans believe in the Bible passage, “Bear ye one another’s burdens,” after hundreds turned out to show their support during the funeral and burial service of the soldier Thursday, Oct. 18.
Spc. Shan Edward Lively known by his friends as Doc Lively, was a medic with the 844th Engineering Battalion in Knoxville. He served his country in Iraq for 12 months.He was also a Comcast sales representative. He died Oct. 12. He is survived by his wife, Kristina Brasfield Lively; son, Jaron Lively; son to be born in December, Tyson Shane Lively.
Rose Mortuary on North Broadway was surrounded by an estimated 750 people at one time lining the sidewalks for two blocks. The supporters began gathering before 9 a.m. after learning that an extremist anti-America protest group calling themselves “Westboro Baptist Church” announced on social media they were planning to attend and protest at the funeral.
The WBC extremist protestors did not show up near Rose Mortuary nor at the interment in East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Full Military Honors were presented by the Tennessee Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Knoxville Police were stationed on each corner and were also mobile on foot, motorcycles and in vehicles. Off-duty officers also patrolled in plain clothes. Knox County deputies took over once the funeral procession left the city limits going to East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Approximately 50 Patriot Guard Riders participated in the funeral procession.
Westboro extremists compare America to Sodom and Gomorrah, saying God hates America and is killing American soldiers. Their literature says, “Thank God for IEDs.”
The Westboro group has been banned from protesting in Manchester, Mo., by a U. S. District Court, a decision that was upheld by U.S. District Court of Appeals earlier this month. Manchester’s ordinance, which requires protesters to stay at least 300-feet from a funeral home, cemetery or house of worship during the service and for an hour before and after, was modeled on an Ohio law that a different appeals court found constitutional in 2008.
WBC has been demonstrating their beliefs for over 20 years, with a total number of protests exceeding 40,000 in over 650 cities since 1991. WBC is headed by Fred Phelps and consists primarily of members of his extended family, with around 40 members total. The church is headquartered in Topeka, Kan.
Thanks to an outpouring through social media, the WBC protest of Spc. Shan Lively’s funeral was halted thanks to the hundreds of local supporters who
arrived at the funeral home on Oct. 18, 2012.
By Wes Hall | Excerpts taken from WikiPedia.