Wendy and I went to the foot of the Lincoln Memorial Friday August 27 around noon. She wanted to see if people were already starting to gather for the Glenn Beck Rally and I wanted to visit the Vietnam Wall (which I did). There were already several hundred people at the west end of the Reflecting Pool.
We picked a good location under the trees on the south side of the pool just east of the steps of the Memorial. We met with lots of wonderful people from all over the country. Many wanted and planned to spend the night. However, there was conflicting information as to whether or not the Park Police would run people out after after dark. Finally, someone with a cell phone called the Park Police and asked for the exact rule. She was told that you could not pitch a tent, use a sleeping bag or go to sleep. Otherwise, you would not be in violation and would not be forced to leave.
Wendy wanted to spend the night but I convinced her that what was a good idea at 3PM would turn into something else around 3 AM. Families from Virginia and New York offered to save our spot. Wendy spread out a large white blanket and on it we placed our one lawn chair.
We returned at 5AM. Thankfully for those who had sent the night, temperatures had remained mild with no moisture. There were thousands of people gathered on both sides of the pool. One of those watching our spot said they could have sold it several times over and laughingly said he wished he had. At this point, a single cup of coffee would have probably garnered $20. The energy level, like the sun, had yet to rise. An example of the courtesy of those who came to restore honor in America is that there was not so much as a single footprint on our blanket. Thousands of strangers respectfully stepped around it.
The event was to start at 10 AM. By then, there were hundreds of thousands of people standing shoulder to shoulder. The thousands still arriving could not get closer than the WWII Memorial, if that close.
We were at the first 9-11 and this came very close to having the same level of energy. Crowd estimates ranged from 300,000 to 500,000. There were marked differences. Foremost was that prior to 9-12-2009, we had no idea if 50,000 people would show up. So, when over a million people gathered, there was an overwhelming sense of relief that our Republic did have a chance after all. We the People were no longer hibernating and would take back control of our government. The 9-12 March was also political and rambunctious. Poignant and/or funny signs were everywhere. The emotions were joy and relief, tinged with anger.
Beck’s event was pure joy and love for all Americans of all races and faiths. There were no angry shouts at politician (so richly deserving of intense criticism), no signs and few costumes. It was an event that may well help change America for the better. If God was our parent, He would look down on all the speakers and all who attended with immense pride. For at least one day, we got it right.
The March on 9-12-10 was down significantly in numbers, maybe as much as 75%. Perhaps the rain kept some away who live within an hour drive or so. Certainly, the Beck gathering, having been held just two weeks earlier, peeled off tens of thousands who could not attend both events. With unemployment so high, many simply could not afford to attend while others hunker down in fear an even worsening economy. Also, there were major Tea Party Events being held in St Louis and Sacramento. In St Louis in 2009, they reported a gathering of about 900. This year was around 10,000 according to one newspaper report.
Still, there was no lack of passion by those who were in DC. Many of the speakers were outstanding. Mike Pence of Indiana sounded like he should be given consideration for higher office in 2012. Andrew Breitbart was the most entertaining as he poked fun at the lame-stream media. The speaker who really got the crowd motivated was Tito Munoz. He declared that as a new citizen, he refused to see the United States deliberately be turned into a 3rd world country like the one he had escaped.
I do not think that the smaller attendance at the DC march is any indication of a slide back into apathy by the American People. The tremendous turnout at the various primaries and the results of those elections support my optimism. I believe that the American people have awakened to the rush for one world order and socialism that our politicians (in both parties) are pursuing. Will there be enough of us? We will find out in about 5 weeks.
Glen A. Amos