McNary sophomore takes on funeral picketing, finds calling

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes When Amy Ripp hears people lament the difficulties of changing the world, she thinks of her son, Ryan. Earlier this year, Ryan was watching Channel One News, a news channel produced for teens, at McNary High School when a story came up about protestors from Westboro Baptist Church picketing at the funeral of a U.S. soldier. Representatives of the church regularly take up post a the funerals of fallen soldiers espousing anti-gay messages. “We had a big discussion about it in class. I felt like I needed to do something about it. Right after class, I called my mom and told her we needed to go talk to [former city councilor] Richard Walsh and see what we can do,” Ryan said. The group’s activities hit home not only because Ryan is the grandson of two veterans, but because he plans on enlisting. “If something like that happened to any member of my family it would be horrible first of all with just the pressure of them passing, but to have this group of people come and say all these horrible things right there right at the funeral site is not okay, not on any level,” he said. Walsh told him to go home and research the subject and see what work had already been done in other states. Ryan decided to put...

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