Sunday, March 12

Flushing

It was early Saturday morning when I turned onto Cherry Street near downtown Flushing, Michigan. The local townspeople had begun to gather on the sidewalk near Saint Roberts
Catholic Church. Nearby in the parking lot a group of men wearing bright red jackets appeared to be having a discussion, as I approached them the patches on their jackets became clear to me they were United States Marines.
While waiting for a pause in their conversation to introduce myself I looked over my camera checking the settings. One of the Marines asked me if I worked for the press my reply was that’s a negative sir I’m here to support the family of SGT. Youmans. We talked for a while and discussed the events of the previous week’s visit of the of the freaks from Kansas when a church usher asked us to move aside as the lot was beginning to fill.
I scouted out some vantage points to get my shots from then moved to the street. By this time the local people had put up their banners supporting Joshua Youmans some were carrying signs like the picketers use but the message was not the same, they wrote “support our troops” Believe in America” “God Loves our Soldiers” and “Thank You Joshua We Pray for You”. While crossing to the other side of the street to photograph the folks with their signs and banners I noticed a small group people on the corner moving towards the church, just then I thought I heard what sounded like thunder in the distance.
I was speaking to a homeowner on the block asking for permission to shoot some photos from his second story porch as we spoke we heard jeers from down the block the scum from Westborro Baptist Church had arrived.
The old Marines were heading their way when a Flushing police cruiser pulled in to block the street separating them. The Marines were having dialogue with the scum from Kansas as they unfurled the vile banners and signs. The police who are Veterans themselves had to protect the scum from Kansas for in this country that is their job.

By this time family members and friends along with men and woman from all branches of the service entered Saint Roberts Church through a corridor of rough looking men holding American Flags. This was the advance group of the Patriot Riders they were there to show their support for the family.
As the anti American protesters started to gather some steam I heard more thunder it was growing louder and heading this way. It came in the form of a shiny black pickup tuck leading what seemed to be hundreds of roaring motorcycles. The strike force of the Patriot Guards had arrived. The pickup paused in the street as team members clad in black leather jackets removed a large black package from the bed of the truck.
The truck pulled away as motorcyclist positioned themselves in front of the scum from Kansas drowning out the chanting from those deranged ones on the sidewalk. The team unfurled the huge black tarp to block from view those horrible messages the protesters held.
Neighbors came out of their homes to the sidewalk effectively blocking movement of the protesters. The motorcycles sound covered their chanting. The Guards with their shield made the signs useless. At this time they were completely ineffective. The Reporters had turned to interviewing the bikers and other patriots in the crowd. For them it was over they could only move one way on this street the way home. The police gave them safe passage to their vehicles I don’t think the crowd even gave them cheer when they left they were just gone. Now that’s Flushing.

Some of the photos I took are here http://webpages.charter.net/gcrcjim/

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