This excerpted article is the closest description of my experience at last Saturday’s Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital, Washington DC. I would only add that Glenn Beck, together with Sarah Palin, Dr. Alveda King and others, wanted us to also take away an affirmation on how important it is that we as Americans value Unity, Faith, Hope and Charity.
And Glenn Beck wanted us to take away another lesson about the reflecting pool – that not only is it situated on the Mall to physically reflect the majesty of the monuments that surround it, but that the pool is there to remind us to ‘reflect’ on the meaning of each those monuments.
“Pundits will debate whether the crowd at Glenn Beck’s Saturday rally in Washington was the largest in recent political history, but it was certainly among the most impressive.
One would not be able to find a more polite crowd at a political convention, certainly not at a professional sporting event, probably not even at an opera. In fact, judging by the behavior of the attendees following the event, you’d have a tough time finding churches in which people display more patience as others make their way to the exits.
This army of well-mannered folks that marched into Washington seemed comprised mainly of people who had once marched in the U.S. Army or other military branch, or at least had a family member who had. Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that the event was a fund-raiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of elite troops killed in the performance of their duty. The day was largely devoted to expressions of gratitude for the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers, for great men of American history like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and for God.
But it didn’t end there. Dave Roever, a Vietnam veteran, offered a closing prayer in which he thanked the Lord for the president and for the Congress. Despite the unpopularity of the latter two, no booing or catcalls could be heard. Relaxed young parents felt comfortable enough to push toddlers in strollers through the crowded areas along the memorial’s reflecting pool.
Not only was the rally akin to a “huge church picnic” (in one Journal reporter’s description), but one had to wonder if the over-achievers in this crowd actually left the area in better shape than they found it.
After the event, walking from the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool through Constitution Gardens, this reporter scanned 360 degrees and could not see a scrap of trash anywhere. Participants and volunteers had collected all their refuse and left it piled neatly in bags around the public garbage cans. Near Constitution Avenue, I did encounter one stray piece of paper — but too old and faded to have been left that day.
Given the huge representation of military families at the event, maybe it’s not surprising the grounds were left ship-shape. A principal theme of the day was that attendees should restore the country by making improvements in their own lives—be the change you wish to see in the world, as Gandhi once put it.
Most of the participants were strictly amateurs in the business of activism. For many, it was their first appearance at a public demonstration. Their strikingly mild-mannered nature might inspire even Mr. Beck to acknowledge that in a crowd estimated at 300,000 [actually, there were at least 500,000 attendees], the craziest person at the event might have been the one with the microphone. While he admits that he’s part entertainer and prone to over-the-top comments, his followers appear to be sincerely responding to his message that Americans need to cling to their best traditions.”
Glenn Beck’s Happy Warriors
You probably couldn’t have found a more polite crowd at the opera.
by James Freeman
August 31 2010