About 1,000 locals made a pledge to join a "silent action" to keep members of the Westboro Baptist church from protesting the memorial, according to Boston Magazine. The locals met this morning before being escorted by Boston Police to a designated area across the street from the memorial. The group was organized on Facebook and gained more than 6,000 hits before the memorial.
Hundreds were denied access, but another group of people, mostly dressed in black, showed support for victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombings near the ceremony's headquarters. There, they waited in in case Westboro Baptist Church members showed up to protest.
The church has become famous for saying deaths of innocent people are the vengeance of God responding to legalization of gay marriage.
The controversial group tweeted earlier this week that members would picket the memorial service. Those that showed up to prevent them from coming came prepared, though.
Group members joined together, creating a human wall and holding tarps to block the church's trademark signs.
“I am hoping no one shows up to protest the event. That would be the best thing. But just in case they do, we are here for support,” Thomas Tramontozzi, member of the group, said. “We are here to show support for the families, the victims, and just America in general.”