Many thanks to all who are continuing to send their thoughts and prayers toward Newtown, Connecticut, where the calling hours for Principal Dawn Hochsprung are taking place as I write this.
We have a small contingent of volunteers from upstate New York consisting of myself, an elder from my church, a ministerial colleague, and a family friend of Dawn’s. We are connected with a much larger network of volunteers from all over the northeastern US organized through Facebook.
Dawn’s family have thanked us for our care and asked that we not show up outside the funeral home for her wake. Our group leaders in Newtown have requested that all out-of-town volunteers stay where they are until there is a visually confirmed presence of picketers from Westboro Baptist Church. The town itself is already over-crowded, making it difficult for families and neighbors to effectively mourn their loved ones.
I am happy to announce that, in spite of their repeated threats to picket Dawn Hochsprung’s calling hours, representatives of Westboro Baptist Church have not been seen anywhere in the state of Connecticut.
The organizers of our action are calling this a win, since our goal is (and always has been) to protect the dignity of the deceased and their families.
We continue to remain watchful for picketers, as there are still several other funerals that have yet to take place. They could still show up at any time.
Members of our local group have decided to heed the advice of the leaders in Newtown and wait until there is a visually confirmed presence of picketers before we drive down. We are ready to spring into action at any time. It’s only a four-hour drive for us, which is plenty of time for us to fit in a rousing round of “99 Bottles of Beer” on the highway…
If all continues to go well and our presence is not required, the money given by church members to support our trip will be donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut.
Visit this website if you would like to donate as well:
I’ll say this again:
The best-case scenario is for no one from Westboro Baptist to show up in Newtown. So far, that seems to be exactly what is happening. I am grateful.
One thought on “Calling All Angels (III)”
This is an update from our group organizers in Newtown, CT:
“The Westboro Baptist Church promised that they would be here in Connecticut today from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM.
They were not.
The Westboro Baptist Church is a group that will publicize any appearances well in advance, because they want the press to cover it and they want counteraction in place so they can be riled up into actions that would lead to lawsuits.
They are silent.
In no way am I saying that this is over. We should be prepared in case they decide to publicize another appearance between now and Saturday as the services for the victims continues. However, their cowardice has been proven time and time again, and now on their biggest stage of this week, they have not shown up. Our hard work, from the administrators monitoring here to the people out in the field checking on locations and following up on tips from all sorts of sources, has led us to believe that the Westboro Baptist Church has yet to step foot in Connecticut since Friday’s tragedy. We’ll continue to keep everything up, but right now, we have no threats to keep an eye on. Thank you all for all of your hard work. We urge everyone that has been monitoring services to continue to do so with the same decorum as we have all along. I have heard no complaints about disturbances from WBC monitoring, and I’m so incredibly proud of everyone who has kept an eye out for keeping it that way. Let’s keep this up, but know that we have made some excellent progress with our hard work.
A huge thank you to the Blue Line group for their efforts today in Woodbury. They were requested to attend the services, and it seems that their efforts were a success. They are some incredible people, and I’m proud to have been in touch with these brave people. Some of the best of this effort.
We can confirm that the Motel 6 rumors of a presence in Southington and Enfield are false. Motel 6 has also confirmed this via their public Twitter. Every hotel that has been rumored up to now – and many that haven’t – have been checked in person by group members and they all have reported no presence.
As always, we urge that if you want to post something, please back it up with visual proof – a photograph or video of any potential tip. Keep an eye out for large passenger vans (think shuttle or church van) with Kansas license plates, or large groups of people with signs in hotels. If you do see something suspicious and feel like following up with the front desk employee, please be super kind and respectful to them when asking questions, do not threaten, and inform them that they may be the recipients of an incredibly high call volume.”