This past week saw another tragedy as one of Oklahoma 's best and brightest was killed in Iraq . Army Pfc. Joshua Pearce, a 2003 graduate of Guymon High School died on Feb 26th when his vehicle hit an explosive device in the road.

Usually this would be marked by a dignified and solemn ceremony commemorating the soldier's heroism and sacrifice. However, the world in which we live is no longer “normal.” There is a group of people from Wichita KS , who mistakenly call themselves a church. This group pickets such funerals and causes as much problems as possible.

Two pieces of legislation dealing with this issue had already passed in each chamber. The “Funeral Protest Legislation” was dealt with in both a House bill and a Senate bill. Each was now in the opposite chamber, but would not continue through the legislative process until the middle of March.

In an effort to make sure that Pfc. Joshua Pearce was remembered for the hero he was, I asked House and Senate leadership to pass one of the bills this week. In a true effort of bipartisanship, this was done and the Senate bill passed the House on Thursday.

This was possible only because three of the authors were willing to put aside political goals and do what was morally right. I would like to thank Rep Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore), Rep Wade Rousselot (D-Wagoner), and Senator Debbie Leftwich ( D-Oklahoma City ) for their willingness to do whatever was necessary to get the bill passed.

Thanks also to the House Leadership which was willing to suspend the rules and put the bill on a fast track agenda to be heard as soon as possible. Thanks also to ALL the House members who voted to suspend the rules to allow this process to go forward. In a time when partisanship and politics has a bad name, it is good to know that most politicians can still make the morally right choice.

Now, we as a community and a state can honor one of our native sons as he should be remembered, with dignity and honor. Once again, thank you to all those brave men and women who serve in our armed forces and fight to preserve our freedoms. Thank you, Pfc. Joshua Pearce for a job well done. Not only may you rest in peace, but we can remember you in peace.

Boise City News
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