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Who are the Patriot Guard Riders?

  • Patriot Guard Riders 

    The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) was formed in 2005 to protect and shelter mourners at funerals for members of the United States military, firefighters and police from protesters. The Westboro Baptist Church protested deaths of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and said that their deaths were divine retribution for Americans tolerating homosexuality.


    The PGR forms an honor guard and adds to the ranks of indigent and homeless veteran’s funerals in respect. They also greet troops that return from overseas with homecoming celebrations and perform volunteer work for many veterans’ organizations, such as Veterans Homes. The PGR visits wounded military at veteran’s hospitals to honor wounded service members and helps families with travel and housing arrangements when they face financial difficulties.


    The PGR mission statement is “Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:
    1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
    2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters.
    We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.”


    PGR members shield mourners from any type of protesters by having multiple members hold American flags and blocking their view by the motorcade. If protesters are noisy, the PGR sings patriotic songs loudly, or they may rev their motorcycle engines to drown out the protesters and keep peace at events. (Image Source


    Some of the more recent events that the PGR helped veterans and civilians with are below:


    Staff Sergeant Jonathon Turner

    This soldier served seven tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and died in California from combat injuries. The PGR was notified that his mother could not make a trip from Georgia to California for a funeral. The Marine Corps were set to ship his ashes home via Federal Express, but the PGR decided to create a caravan to escort the ashes home to Georgia. Hundreds of riders rode thousands of miles to meet one another as a group to turn over his ashes after having a ceremony for the fallen soldier.


    Pulse Nightclub Mass Shooting

    The Pulse Nightclub mass shooting recently in Orlando, Florida in June of 2016, claimed 49 people’s lives in the gay nightclub-shooting spree. Westboro Baptist Church received a permit to protest at a nearby church to disrupt all of the many funerals of the victims. When the group showed up, everyday Americans shielded the mourning families from the hatred of signs and taunts in Patriot Rider fashion.


    Sandy Hook Shooting

    The Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting took place on December 14, 2012, in Newtown Connecticut and robbed 26 children between the age of 6 and 7 of their lives. The PGR showed up to protect families of the children from Westboro Baptist Church members that rallied at the funerals. They linked arms in great numbers to shield and block the protesters from nearing the families.


    Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

    In May of 2013, a tornado claimed the lives of seven children. The Westboro Church members tried to no avail to disrupt the funerals of each child. The townspeople of Moore did not take kindly to the disruptions and hundreds of residents lined the streets in PRG fashion to support the families. The protest by the church only lasted eight minutes as they ran in fear from the citizens as the crowd’s anger level rose.


    Citizens of the United States of America have noticed the great participation of the PGR and are protecting loved ones from protests at funerals into their own hands. When a group is imitated by the nation for its good, it is the best form of flattery.


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    Patriot Guard Riders