All area veterans are urged to attend a walk through for U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan "Nathan" Gollnitz at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church, 876 Central Ave., Dunkirk.
"This organized Walk Through will allow all veterans to show their respect for a fellow Comrade in Arms that has paid the ultimate price for our freedom," organizers stated.
Gollnitz, a Fredonia native, was killed in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan on Sept. 26 in a roadside bombing.
U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan “Nathan” Gollnitz
Veterans are asked to arrive at the Big Dipper Ice Cream Parlor parking lot, 950 Central Ave., Dunkirk, by 1:30 p.m. Attendees will form at the entrance of the Willow Brook Cemetery and proceed to the church at 1:45 p.m. Veterans will enter the church single file, salute their comrade, and file out. All members of veterans' organizations are urged to wear their covers (hats).
If you have any questions about the walk through, contact Henry Link at 269-4217 or Dave Thompson at 785-0220.
Meanwhile, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, an organization that believes "God hates America" has posted a flyer on the Internet, stating the group was planning on protesting Gollnitz's funeral. However, the flyer states the protest would take place on Oct. 6, the original date of Gollnitz's funeral before it was delayed.
The same organization threatened to protest the funeral of Lance Cpl. Aaron M. Swanson of Lakewood in February 2011 but never attended.
Local citizens, however, are still preparing for a possible protest.
Cathryn Test-Millin of Brocton has created an event on Facebook entitled "support to the family of Sgt. Jonathan A. Gollnitz."
In the description, Millin states, "We would like to form a human shield to protect the family of Sgt. Jonathan A. Gollnitz while they lay their hero to rest at the First Baptist Church located at 876 Central Avenue in Dunkirk on Saturday, October 13 at 2 p.m. We plan to meet at 1 p.m. The Westboro Baptist Church (that hateful group always in the news) plans to picket this funeral starting at 1:15, to spread their message of hate and intolerance. We will be there to meet them. We, as a community, need to stand together to show them that this is not acceptable and that our community will not stand by and let them disgrace a local fallen hero. This day is for his family, not a venue for Westboro to spread more hatred and intolerance. Please show your support for this family and this local hero by helping us to ensure they have a peaceful day of remembrance to one who has given the ultimate sacrifice protecting our way of life."
As of Tuesday night, 216 people had registered on Facebook that they were going and an additional 94 had registered that they might attend.