The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a grieving father's pain over jeering protests at his Marine son's funeral must yield to U.S. Constitutional protections for free speech, ending a lawsuit against the church. It was five years ago tomorrow that Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder was killed in a Humvee accident in Iraq. He was 20 years old. Speaking from York, Pa., his father, Albert, spoke about the ruling with CBS News anchor Katie Couric.
Katie Couric: Mr. Snyder what was your reaction to today's Supreme Court decision?
Albert Snyder: I was kind of shocked. Um, I can't believe that the Supreme Court today has now told us that we have no rights to bury our dead in peace. It's a sad day for our military men and women, their families. It's a sad day for all Americans. My first thought was, what kind of society have we become?
Couric: Are you surprised the decision was so overwhelming, with eight out of nine Justices backing the protesters?
Snyder: Yes I was Katie. It just, you know, they may be book smart, but they don't have the common sense God gave a goat. You know the Justices and the government will send our children to war and they'll send them back in body bags and then they can't even give us enough respect to bury them in peace.
Couric: The church has protested outside many other funerals. What would you say to other grieving families today?
Snyder: Well there's not much we can do about it anymore. When the government won't do anything about it, and the courts give us no remedy, then people are going to start taking matters into their own hands. And believe me someone is going to get hurt. And when the blood starts flowing, let it be on the Supreme Court Justices' hands.
Couric: Tomorrow I know, Mr. Snyder, is the five-year anniversary of your son's death. This must be a very difficult time for you and your family. Tell us what you are remembering about your son today?
Snyder: Just about how good a kid he was, how proud he was to be a soldier, how proud he was of America, and if he could see this, I don't think he'd be very proud of this country right now.
Couric: Thank you very much for speaking with us, Mr. Snyder, we so appreciate it.
Snyder: You're welcome Katie.