NEW YORK (CBS) Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have made a name for themselves by protesting the funerals of military servicemen and women across the country; holding signs reading "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," among other things.
But on Saturday, residents of a small town in Missouri banded together in a counter-demonstration against Westboro Baptist Church members protesting the funeral of a local fallen soldier.
According to FOX News affiliate WDAF, the fundamentalist church members planned on protesting First Sergeant C.J. Sadell's funeral in Weston, Mo.
Sadell was in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed on Oct. 5. Five soldiers were killed and Sadell was badly injured. The 34-year-old succumbed to his injuries on Oct. 24.
When Weston residents learned about the protest, several hundred citizens rallied to show support for Sadell's family, armed with patriotic music and American flags large enough to cover any unwanted guests.
"We got everybody here early so we could take up all the parking spots," Rebecca Rooney of Weston, Mo., told WDAF.
Several supporters also traveled from California and Australia to be a part of the counterdemonstration, in which they created a human shield around the perimeter of the funeral.
Eventually, Westboro Church members retreated.
"I'm glad they left, but I'm sad they came," Rooney told the station.