This past Saturday thousands gathered in Orlando, Florida, to mourn the death of Christopher Andrew Leinonen, who was one of forty-nine victims in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
What should have been a peaceful event was met by a handful of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church.
Their tasteless anti-gay signs were met by counter-protesters with a powerful symbol of angel wings.
This type of protest dates back to 1999, when the church picketed the trials of the men charged with the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, in Laramie, Wyoming.
“Angel wings are meant as a loving support to the fallen, not to create more anger or violence,” said theater director Jim Helsinger.
Others shielded friends and family of the victim with rainbow banners and signs emblazoned with the words “OrlandoStrong” and quietly sang “Amazing Grace.”
One counter-protest said, “We couldn’t even hear WBC. All you could hear was peace and love.”