BOSTON—Following reports that the Westboro Baptist Church would be picketing outside of Thursday's interfaith service for the Boston marathon victims, community members gathered together to protect the sanctity of the event and show love for the victims of the terrorist attack.
A Facebook event titled "Human Wall to Block Westboro Baptist Church" helped to coordinate and mobilize the hundreds of individuals who joined together in the park alongside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross hours before the service's 11 a.m. start. "This is a peaceful gathering. This is not a protest. This is not an anti-WBC rally," said Drake, one of the organizers, as his megaphone-enhanced voice reverberated throughout the crowd. Hundreds of individuals all dressed in black listened on in preparation to realize their common purpose of standing against Westboro.
However, much to many group members' relief, the WBC never showed up, and so the human wall eventually positioned itself along the blocks surrounding the cathedral, standing by in support as President Obama and others addressed Boston.
Here are participants' reasons for joining together Thursday morning.