The signs still haunt Jesse Alcozer.
On the day he would bury his 21-year-old son, Christopher, an Army private from Villa Park who died Nov. 19 while serving in Iraq, protesters stood across the street from the church, holding placards that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”
All Jesse Alcozer saw was the hate in the signs and the distraction it served to keep him and his family from properly mourning his son’s death.
“For (soldiers) to come back and be faced by radicals that don’t respect them, it shouldn’t be like this,” said Alcozer, himself a Vietnam War veteran.
Now Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who spoke at the funeral, is trying to spare military families the extra grief the Alcozers experienced. He’s proposed a state law that would prohibit protesting within 300 feet of any military or civilian funeral.
Oklahoma has a similar bill working its way through the legislature. Laws controlling Fred Phelps and the despicable actions of his Westboro Baptist "Church" do not control free speech. His group can always protest a half mile away when there is a funeral going on.
Yssterday the latest Fred Phelps-organized protest took place. From the Westboro web site, here is a flier about a picket yesterday morning for a soldier's funeral in Florida.