I gotta tell ya, I haven’t felt so much at home before in DC as I feel today. I’m going to leave the crowd counting to the experts – but not the Washington Post who wrote this crap this morning;
Thousands of protesters, marking the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq, began gathering this morning for a march to the Pentagon, but many of them were met by a peaceful rally of veterans groups and war supporters near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
It was a classic example of grass-roots politics in Washington and of the strong emotions that the Vietnam War still exerts more than 30 years after fighting there ended.
Get that? THOUSANDS of protesters were met by a “rally” of veterans. Sounds like the veterans were outnumbered, doesn’t it?
The only “grassroots” were on the side of the veterans who had come at their own expense and with very little organization. I met four veterans who had driven up in a car from the Florida Gulf Coast and got into town the night before – that’s grassroots!
Anyway I got there at about 8:30 this morning (after my regular Saturday morning breakfast of SOS at the Walter Reed messhall) and here’s the video I took of the THOUSANDS of protesters. As opposed to this video I took of the Gathering of Eagles a few minutes before. Quite a difference from what the Post reported, huh?
Here’s what the protesters saw across the street that separated the two sides;
There were this many veterans;
And this many protesters;
Pretty intimidating huh?
As the morning went on the crowds on both sides grew and the Park Police began putting up barracades to keep the sides separated;
Let me just pause here to tell ya’all that the Park Police were real pros. The Wall was well protected – they’d set up metal detectors and hand searched everyone who went to the Wall. This in effect kept the protesters away because they didn’t want to wait in a long line to get to the Wall. The Park Police stayed out of the way, but kept a close eye on the event. Real pros.
Now, back to the event.
Apparently age doesn’t always bring wisdom, in the case of these folks;
And despite the fact that ANSWER and the coalition of weasels have tried to deny that the Truthers are a part of their movement, the Truthers were there;
And I don’t even want to think about what makes some “Queers” more radical than others;
The only TV interview I saw being taped was with a supposed “Iraq veteran” who opposed the war. He looked a little old and pudgy to be a recent veteran, though, so I have my doubts. We all remember the Stolen Valor vets of the Vietnam Era, and the media that was more interested in their anti-war comments than their acceditation.
A few times, the veterans would chant “USA” so loud it could probably be heard at the White House. The protesters tried to shout them down (in those testosterone deficient high pitched squeals that make them the moonbats that they are), but when that failed, they just turned up the music on their speakers – a weak answer to the real passion they faced over the police barriers.
I’ve been to veterans rallies before. The “Kerry Lied” rally in September 2004 outside the Capitol comes to mind. But this one was so different. There was so much more backslapping, hugging, handshakes, “Welcome home” wishing than I’d ever seen.
In my opinion, this Gathering of Eagles rally has done more for the healing of the wounds these veterans have been burdened with for forty years than any wall or memorial could ever. It was if they’d finally been given the opportunity to face their oppressors. There were no sorrowful stares, no sympathetic words. It was all smiles and laughter.
All of those years of anger that had been bottled up was directed against their common enemy – moral and intellectual laziness. The world had to listen to them, the citizens who had sacrificed and paid the price and came home to the disapproval of the citizens who had never spent an uncomfortable moment in their lives.
One veteran told me, “We’re here because those guys who are fighting in Iraq deserve better than what we got when we came home. No one stood up for us, but by God, we’re standing up for them. And if we don’t, who will?”
Welcome home, brothers.
UPDATE: Welcome LGFers and Sweetness and Light folks