The wife of a bodyguard slain at an abortion clinic last year urged mourners Sunday to keep working for an end to the anti-abortion violence that also left her wounded.
June Barrett attended two memorial services for her husband, James, 74, and Dr. John Bayard Britton, 69, who were shot to death by an anti-abortion agitator a year ago Saturday.
“Stay involved,” June Barrett said during an ecumenical memorial service at Christ Episcopal Church. “Together, we can work for a more tolerant and peaceful coexistence.”
A daylong deluge let up as Barrett and more than 50 people marched from the church to a monument for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Barrett laid a wreath of white carnations at a bust of King as the others sang “We Shall Overcome.”
The service also was dedicated to others who have died at the hands of anti-abortion activists: Dr. David Gunn, shot at another Pensacola clinic in 1993, and two receptionists slain at two suburban Boston clinics in December.
Barrett, also a clinic volunteer, has recovered from the gunshot wounds she suffered in the arm and breast outside the Ladies Center clinic. The Barretts and Britton had just arrived at the clinic when their pickup truck was riddled by shotgun blasts.
Earlier Sunday, Barrett joined more than 100 mourners at a Unitarian Universalist church filled with white ribbons sent by abortion rights supporters nationwide. The ribbons were inscribed with messages such as “Let the majority fight back” and “Cast no stones.”
The congregation also sang “Jim’s Song” for Barrett, which included the lyrics, “We’re standing here in courage ‘cause it’s where Jim would have been.”