Gathering of Eagles

| March 17, 2007

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

Michele Malkin has photos up on her “blog burst” now. Curt at Flopping Aces has a round up of several blogs.

Category: Antiwar crowd, Gathering of Eagles, Media, Politics, Protests/Rallies, Support the troops

Comments (19)

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  1. jvreagan says:

    Thanks for the report. Amazing what the mainstream media will report, eh?

  2. freedomfromtyranny says:

    Think anyone would trust your ‘video’ of the action? Naw, instead we’re going to rely on the word of every news outlet out there that is conspiring against the pro-war, pro-more-death gang. See, the way I see it, you are there protesting the protesters, while your guy in the WH sends more troops into the meatgrinder. If you were worth the spittle of hatred you spew, you’d be fighting alongside those troops in Iraq right now, instead of trying to prove that you can get your fat arses to DC to make a pathetic point.

  3. Jonn Lilyea says:

    I see the HuffPo crowd has a link here now.


    If you had bothered read my About Me page before you embarrassed yourself, you’d see I volunteered to go back on active duty last year. They haven’t called me – yet.

    That stupid, empty blather don’t hunt here.

  4. Dave says:

    The picture of the horses’ a$$es next to the traffic sign for NO LEFT TURNS is absolutely priceless!!

  5. skorto says:

    Thank you for your post and representation via the Gathering Eagles. The only hatred I sense being spewed is that of “freedomfromtyranny”. Why are those parading for “peace” always so hateful and hopeless? As I’m sure you know from your many years of service, their whole “speaking truth to power” stance is laughable. I’ve represented those seeking asylum who did speak the truth of democratic principles in the face of true tyrants and, as a result, were brutalized and saw their families killed. In my interviews with them, they would commonly say “you see, it’s not like here” before relaying one horrific tale after another. Before marching for ANSWER, “fft” should consider the amazing link between capitalism/a middle class and human rights. And, before daring to lecture one who has served, “fft” should perhaps give one shining example of his/her anti-tyranny accomplishments — other than marching in the fresh, free air of D.C. snuggled in the Bill of Rights that others have willingly gone into the “meatgrinder” to provide. What a joke. BTW, “fft”, the use of “spittle” with “spew” is incorrect. Perhaps you should pass your comments around the sit-in circle one more time before submission.

  6. usnretwife says:

    Thank you for keeping us ‘in the know’ about this. News of the even has been little to nothing way over here in South Dakota. I am so glad it went well. God bless our troops and our vets.

  7. usnretwife says:

    Thank you for the report and pictures. There are a lot of us who would have been there if we possibly could have been. God bless our troops and our vets.

  8. bostonmaggie says:

    Thanks for going and thanks for posting.

  9. j d conner says:

    I could not get my comment posted on the comment page so I will try this.

    I was at the Visitor Center of Independence National Park yesterday to
    support GEO. Had a great time. Many, many people, mostly tourist from
    across the country, thanked us for being there, gave us the thumbs up or

    Saw an old friend and one time fellow board member of a non-profit who
    was there to support Cindy and the left. We shook hands, agreed to
    disagree and parted friends. We had had disagreements before. He had
    been paid off my the City of Philadelphia rather then sue it for being
    removed from a bridge overlooking the oil refineries and airport by
    police shortly after 9-11. He and a student from Europe were up there
    taking pictures of the refineries and airport. I wrote a letter to the
    local paper describing how in the sixties my fellow art students and I
    had been removed from the same bridge by the police for our protection.
    It was a very windy day and we were up there sketching the very
    complicated scene with pen and paper clipped to large boards. No one
    complained. It was for our safety that we were removed. The same could
    be said about the two photographers taking pictures of these very
    vulnerable and important industrial sites. They were removed for OUR

    While Cindy was trying to be heard yesterday, one of their camp came
    over to me and three young men standing beside me (tourist from the
    mid-west) asking questions with his video camera about WMD, profit
    making, Halliburton and the war. When I gave good answers that
    explained that we had reason to be there even without finding WMD he
    suddenly wanted to “talk to these young guys.” They held the their
    ground and the lefty soon left.

    Thank you GOE

    J. D. Conner


    Jonn Lilyea wrote: Welcome and thanks for your comment as well as your committment. I hope you find your way back here often.