The state assemblyman for Yucaipa, Calimesa, Cherry Valley, Beaumont and Banning urged his constituents Thursday to show support for Army Pfc. Nathan 'Tyler' Davis and his family by lining the procession route for Davis' memorial service on Friday.
"Davis is a true hero," Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, said in an announcement. "Unfortunately, a hate group is threatening to picket his services. Let's show his family the best of Yucaipa by supporting his sacrifice and commitment to our freedom in a manner that is reverent and respectful. The city is helping to organize people to stand along the processional route, and I encourage anyone available to support this effort."
Davis, 20, of Yucaipa died June 9 in Tore Obeh, Afghanistan, when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb during combat operations, the Defense Department reported last week.
The memorial service for Davis is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Friday at Yucaipa Christian Church, 12954 Bryant St. Burial service is scheduled at Sunnyslope Cemetery, 40 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Beaumont.
Representatives of an based in Topeka, Kansas, announced earlier this week they intend to picket near the Davis service, and the news has ignited indignation, anger and calls for counter-protesting Friday in Yucaipa.
According to the Westboro Baptist Church website and a press release, people representing Westboro Baptist intend to gather at 10:15 a.m. "in respectful, lawful proximity" to the memorial service at Yucaipa Christian Church.
Davis graduated Green Valley High School in Yucaipa and was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
A map of the procession route from Yucaipa Christian Church, 12954 Bryant St., to Sunnyslope Cemetery, 40 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Beaumont, is on the City of Yucaipa's website at yucaipa.org.
"Residents are encouraged to line the route, bring American flags and wear red, white, and blue," Cook's staff said.
A printable pdf copy of the procession route is attached to this report.
Cook, a retired Marine Corps colonel and Vietnam veteran, is termed out in the State Assembly. He announced in February in the newly-formed 8th District in November 2012.