This week has brought such horrific and sad news to our community. A fire in a neighboring township cost the lives of seven children, ages three months to eleven years old. One child, age three, escaped. The funeral will be held on Tuesday, and members of the Westboro Baptist Church (not affiliated with any known Baptist conventions or associations) announced that they will be in attendance staging a protest spewing their hatred. It is ironic that a young man from a a different nearby community, was killed in action while serving in the military, and the same group held a protest at his funeral. The father of the young man took the matter before the United States Supreme Court and last week, in an 8-1 decision, the Court upheld that group's right to protest at funerals under the First Amendment. As difficult as this is to swallow, we must remember that thousands of lives have been lost to protect and uphold this very same Amendment, the privilege of freedom of speech.
On another note, I am so very thankful to be able to tell you that my daughter, son-in-law and all of the military stationed in Okinawa, Japan are safe and have been accounted for. Lots to be thankful for.