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UPDATE: Protesters Against Fallen Soldier Absent at Church, Cemetery

In the midst of claims by a Kansas-based Baptist church that its members would protest a funeral for U.S. Army Pfc. Nathan Tyler Davis, hundreds of community members showed up to counter the group but no detractors appeared.

Final Update:

As the remains of a fallen U.S. soldier killed in a war zone were being laid to rest Friday, protesters that had promised to appear at the funeral remained absent.

Army Pfc. Nathan Tyler Davis, 20, died June 9 from an exploding roadside bomb in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.

After a huge showing of support by the community outside Yucaipa Christian Church where funeral services were held, hundreds more community members lined the Yucaipa and Beaumont roads taken by the funeral procession to the burial site.

That procession took Davis and his family-- escorted by more than 100 motorcyclists, some of them Patriot Guard members, and emergency vehicles-- into the heart of downtown Beaumont via 6th Street and Pennsylvania Ave.  Davis' final resting place is now at Sunnyslope Cemetery.

A group from the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church that issued a statement thanking God for improvised explosive devices  (of the sort that killed Davis) had promised to protest the young man's funeral.

The group had not shown as of mid-afternoon, .  Calls and emails seeking an explanation placed by Banning-Beaumont Patch on Friday were not immediately returned.

Davis was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

He was born and raised in Yucaipa, and is now laid to rest in peace next to his grandfather in Beaumont.

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Update 3:26 p.m.:

A hearse Friday afternoon pulled into a Beaumont cemetery, where a burial site awaited a U.S. Army private killed in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Nathan Tyler Davis was killed June 9.

Members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to protest the funeral services.

In a flier issued to the press, the group claimed that Davis died in vain for a "nation of sodomite hypocrites," and that the death of all U.S. soldiers is happening because of "homosexual and other sins of America.

"The statement ends with the phrase: "THANK GOD FOR IEDs."

Update 1:38 p.m.:

Members of a Kansas-based church that threatened to protest the funeral of a fallen U.S. soldier from Yucaipa -- no protesters were in appearance at the service early afternoon Friday.

They said they would begin picketing at 10:15 a.m.  

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Hundreds of people lined the streets outside a church Friday in Yucaipa, as funeral services prepared to get underway for a fallen U.S. soldier.

Some of those hundreds were supposed to be members of a Kansas-based church, which that they plan on picketing outside the funeral of Pfc. Nathan Tyler Davis, 20, killed June 9 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Since word of that protest broke, people from all over the Inland Empire have taken to the web to help organize counter-protests of their own to support the Davis family.  They’ve started Facebook groups, and communicated via comments on Banning-Beaumont Patch—and

Several motorcycle clubs -- Los Vagos among them -- have ridden up in support of the soldier and his family, and a sea of U.S. flags were waving in the hot breeze.

Veterans joined mothers and children at the scene, most of them in support of the soldier's efforts.

Rumors flew about that the members were burning U.S. flags outside a Yucaipa Baker's fast food restaurant, but Patch could not confirm those reports.  Employees at the Baker's said they never spotted any such actions.

Lucy Ghe June 23, 2012 at 01:32 PM
So glad those evil people stayed away. My late husband was injured in Iraq in 2004 and upon arriving at Walter Reed he had to see and hear protestors right by the front gate. A few days later I saw it with my own eyes and was devastated. A group on injured soldiers friends and family members always showed up to counter protest them.
Stacy June 23, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I am thankfull for your (late) husband's service and am so sorry that you and he had to experience this. Though these proclaimed Christian protestors state that have the right to freedom of speeck, it should be that these servicemembers and families and have right to privacy. This is an obvious form of harassment that the servicemembers and their families should not be subjected to, especially under these conditions (seeking medical help for their injuries)
shawn June 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Sounds like all the cities in the pass area Yucaipa,Calimesa,Cherry Valley, Beaumont, Banning and Cabazon, can stand together for something good and Honor. Just imagine what we could do if we came to bother all the time for something great and not being a tragedy..
Michael Thomas June 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I would like to express my heart felt thank-you to the people and community of Yucaipa for keeping those scum of the earth away from Nathan's funeral. I was wounded in Iraq in 2003 with an IED. I proudly display my Purple Heart for my fellow brothers and sisters in arms who were awarded theirs postumously. Thank you again for your courageousness and support.
Kristi Klimgbiel-Scott June 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I am very proud to be from a town that showed its support for a true American hero. I know my dad has taught many of you and would say the same. I am just sad in my heart that there are people out there with so much hate. I hope all the love you felt from the community give the family support.

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