Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally: Images and Experiences
*Click on Images to see larger versions*
Getting Ready to head out to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally
It’s 10pm on Friday and I’m getting ready to join 300+ great Americans in a six bus convoy to Washington D.C. The excitement has been slowly welling up inside me through the course of the day. Towards 6 o’clock it was impossible to concentrate on much of anything else .
I don’t have a tingle running up my leg, but I do have the feeling that I am going to witness something that is of a scale that I have never experienced.
At first, I was considering driving to D.C. in my truck (yeah, it’s a Ford). Then I thought, why not experience the whole thing with a group of people and view the event from other’s perspectives as well? So I plopped down the money, reserved a spot on a bus and am preparing to head to the meeting spot.
This post will be updated over the next 24 hours or so with pictures, audio and video. It won’t be perfectly edited, but will hopefully serve the purpose. The video will be low quality until I get back home with the good stuff, but it should give you a feel for the atmosphere and crowd size. This is my first attempt at remote updating a post especially with media, but I will do everything I can to share what I experience with you.
I hope you will take the time to comment on what you feel about what you see and hear. I will check the comments every once-in-awhile to see if there are any suggestions for questions to ask people, pictures you’d like taken, or what have you.
*Update* 1:32a The entire rally will be shown live on C-SPAN 10am-1:30.
I apologize for it not being totally a live update .. but the mobile web was beyond overloaded with between 400,000 and 850,000 people in the area.
The early birds at bus lineup this morning:
I decided to get to the rally point early so that I might talk to a few folks and understand why others might want to attend. I met up with a great group of Conservatives that were more than willing to entertain my curiousity.
Unlike me, everyone I spoke with had no expectations. They just felt that it was something they wanted to be apart of or that they might learn what they could do that might heal our ailing nation.
At 3:00am the conversation on the bus was sparse and short. As the morning wore on we spoke more and a small group of us decided to hang together (no allusion to hanging separately you history buffs).
As we approached D.C. we ran into .. zero traffic. It was disconcerting for sure. Had my crowd estimates missed on the high-side? Were we headed for a 5,000 person rally that might feel more like a private showing?
Our string of six chock-full buses entered the RFK stadium area and we immediately noticed the mass of humanity at the Metro station.
Many of us had pre-purchased metro passes so that we wouldn’t have to wait in line. After discussing our situation with the polite policeman dressed in semi-tactical gear, we learned there was a special line for us. Mom always said I was special. Those one-day passes came in incredibly useful, I could not thank my local meetup group more for having suggested we all get them.
We just barely missed the train that was already stopped but the next one was all ours. We were going to the rally without much delay.
A few of our group decided to walk the 4.5 miles instead. Some of the group couldn’t do a fast-walk so I stayed with them and made sure that we all got to experience what would become the most influential, emotional, and powerful gathering of Americans in decades.
The Metro ride was uneventful and we arrived at the Smithsonian station no longer knowing what to expect and observations were all conflicting each other. The traffic was minimal, but there was a huge wait at the stadium metro stop. The train wasn’t all that full, but but the Smithsonian stop was much busier than normal. Would the rally attendance be the weak 10,000 that O’Reilly predicted or would this little band get to witness something historic?
After exiting the Metro we met our first band of anti-Conservative protesters. The massive rally of .. six people displayed their message for all to see. I really wanted to interview them.. to understand why they felt that a speech on the advancement of the American Experiment was such an afront to them. Why did they feel the need to criminalize a man that had no other purpose than to save the vision of this nation as it was presented by the founders? Unfortunately, time did not allow, as we were already late due to odd bus driver swaps on the way to D.C.
As we progressed to the Washington Monument.. the light traffic had us concerned. Had O’Reilly gotten it right I had missed the mark on an historic scale. Well, at least we had entertainment like this guy.
If it hasn’t been obvious, anti-rally sentiment was light. Perhaps the number of absolutely morally-bankrupt liberal-activists is lower than I had feared. As I reported in “Glenn Beck’s 8-28 Rally: The Wager and the Controversy“, several groups were planning counter-protests, rally disruptions, and some even outright violence.
The counter-protests consisted of this guy concerned about Jesus’ air power strategy and the aforementioned six or so young individuals that believe Glenn Beck is the most fearful nightmare we face today. I hope they went home, watched the rally and realized the error in their actions. Protesting this occasion could have had no positive, unselfish motive – none.
As we rounded the left side of the Washington monument, we got our first sense that a crowd was indeed gathering to participate in what I had anticipated as a historic event. We could hear the opening speech being given and were getting anxious to get there. A costumed Captain America waiving a huge American flag was on the Horizon as we crested the hill where the Washington monument was situated and then we got our first look at the sea of Americans – hopeful, cheering and excited Americans – hundreds of thousands of Americans. WOW!!
I cannot describe what I felt, but I’ll try.
I’m not sure what word or sound came out of my mouth when we crested that hill, but whatever it was it didn’t do the sight of 100’s of thousands of Americans set before me. I think I froze for a moment to take in the image, to try to comprehend what I was seeing, the size, the scale, the humanity of it all.
The crowd was shoulder-to-shoulder, front-to-back. Finding little openings here and there became a challenge, but hearing Sarah talk about her pride in being a soldier’s Mom and introduce some real heroes kept me pushing forward.
I heard Pastor C.L. Jackson describe faith as he was awarded the merit badge . Albert Pujols received the merit badge for hope from a not so eloquent Tony La Russa , and Raul Gonzales presented the merit for charity to John Huntsman and was received by Emma Houston in his place.
As I continued pressing through the tightly-packed group of onlookers, I heard the most rousing speech up to that point. Dr. Alveda King (Dr. Martin Luther King’s neice) gave an uplifting message, “..before honor comes humility.” words that I will reflect on for some time.
Dr. Alveda King gave honor to our heroes in military service and spoke at great length of civil rights and equality – although you would not have thought so listening to Al Sharpton’s assessment of the event. She brought up Dr. Martin Luther King’s assertion that efforts towards equality are represented by a check marked “insufficient funds”. That certainly applies today and in more ways than one.
Perhaps by the grace of God, I got to the spot I wanted just before Glenn Beck made what was unarguably a rousing, emotional plea to save our nation by returning to faith, hope and charity. It had taken more than an hour to reach this spot and I could not have made it were the crowd not so polite, humble, and helpful. With hundreds of thousands of people crowded together so closely, I had expected more difficulty working my way towards the front. I was wrong, but in a good sort of way.
Glenn talked about being at “a cross roads” and that we must make a choice to either be responsible for the rescue of the great American experiment or for its ultimate demise. It’s on us and if we wonder “have I not done enough for my country” .. we should answer, not yet.
I could not be more thankful for having the chance to participate in this event. I met so many great people and probably asked a lot of questions but the discussions were welcome and enlightening from my perspective.
Images from the 8-28 Restoring Honor Rally
Click on pictures to see larger images.