Wearing leather chaps and vests covered in military patches, a band of motorcyclists rolls from one soldier's funeral to another in hopes their respectful cheers and revving engines will drown out the insults of protesters.
The motorcycle club members calling themselves Patriot Guard Riders are trying to shield mourners from cruel jeers by adherents of a tiny fundamentalist church who picket military funerals to reflect their belief that U.S. combat deaths are a sign God is punishing the United States for harboring homosexuals. Some protesters' signs said, "Thank God for IEDs," the improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs, that kill many U.S. soldiers.
"The most important thing we can do is let families know that the nation cares," said Don Woodrick, the biker group's Kentucky captain. "When a total stranger gets on a motorcycle in the middle of winter and drives 300 miles to hold a flag, that makes a powerful statement."
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Bikers drown out funeral protesters
Army Times (article)