My coverage of the Gathering of Eagles really begins on my metro ride. I met a retired Air National Guard major who had a sign with the number of troops killed on it. He was from veterans for peace. He told me we had no business in Iraq and proceeded to brag about how he had actually been and stayed with a soldier standing guard at night, and then tell me he wasn't bragging. I explained we are at war with an ideology and that whatever the reasons behind us going into Iraq, removing a dictator who used WMDs on his own people was a good thing, and that for us to leave now would be a sign of weakness to encourage the enemy. There's no easy way out. He said just nuke the whole middle east, but there's no reason to have our troops over there getting picked off. At first I thought he was being sarcastic, so I was going to continue the discussion... he then told me again that we needed to drop nukes. I told him that if he said that to the people he was going to be standing with, they'd turn on him in a heartbeat! Anyway...
What a day it would be!
At 9AM on 15 September, 2007 thousands of patriots gathered at the National Mall today to rally in support of the troops. We heard moving songs from Americans with wonderful voices, and even heard from a Congressman whose son is in the Army.
A leftist infiltrated our group and unfortunately had her anti-American sign taken away and torn up. I am a firm believer that this is a free country and you have the right to free speech, even if it's uninformed.
However, I wish people would be more understanding of the poor old Vietnam Vets who have been through hell only to be spat upon. I have met many people who lost all of their friends winning a war, only to be turned upon by their country when politicians quit and as a result everything they fought for is lost, and the innocents they defended were slaughtered.
I managed to make my way through the crowd and hand her a slip of paper with www.thereligionofpeace.com on it. I hope she visits the site and learns what we are truly facing. I hope she learns of the "Perfect Day" scenario and the violent slaughter the islamists plan to unleash upon us... Of the hundreds of protesters I would later tell of that site, I hope at least a handful investigate and see how they have been misled. I'd like to take the time to note that she was quickly surrounded by our own security (Orange Shirts) for her protection until the park police could come. She was never in danger, and I doubt you could say the same of anyone who would have been crazy enough to venture into the leftists territory.
I ran into this guy, who as it turns out is a pastor turned activist (protest warrior), who wandered around throughout the day playing a parody of a terrorist, claiming to love the peace activists for making his job easy for him. His sign says, "Terrorist for Peace!"
Around noon we were going to make our way to the street, lining it on either side anticipating the arrival of a mass of protesters, any minute...but the protesters must have slept in because they did not show up until around 2. Some small groups came about an hour before then to invade our space. You can see Code Pink on the left here. As Code Pink was on "our turf" they had to make do with a patriot's sign behind them in the photos the news crews and others were taking. They sang a 60s protest song as they made their way to the other side of the street where I was standing with other flag waving patriots. An idea came to me and I ran around tapping my fellow Americans on their shoulders saying "Star Spangled Banner on my mark" and what started out with me and a handful of others swelled into at least 50 voices, raised together in solidarity to show that America still has a spirit of patriotism.
Later, a Vietnam Veteran charged out to where Code Pink was obstructing traffic and taunting us to grab their banner. Security was on him quickly, but kindly, and to their credit they called him sir and were gentle in ushering him back to our side. I can only imagine how hard it is for that soldier, and countless others who went through so much, only to see this new generation turn on America and want to give up all of our freedoms to communism, and the terrorist threats we face.
There are those however, who appreciate the freedoms they have, and they know that freedom is not free.
I was in shock at the number of radicals who would eventually flood the street calling not just for the end to the war, or even the impeachment of the president, but for "one world under red" by those carrying communist banners. Others carried anarchist banners.
Others still wore scarves over their faces to hide their identities. Through it all, we kept our flags and spirits high, as we all tried to get through to them in our own way with a bit of reason- that we must not give up, or we are doomed to fighting an islamic insurgency here.
We gave peace a chance, but there is no peace possible with a people who believe they will be rewarded for lying to us and breaking treaties, cheating us, stealing from us, and killing us. There is no golden rule in their ideology that applies to Americans who are not muslims.
It saddened me to see children manipulated and brainwashed into thinking that peace could be so simply attained against an enemy who, if given the chance, would butcher our children, much as they did the children in Beslan, but I called out over the hatred, called till my voice was hoarse, asking them to read the truth about "the religion of peace." I hope someone was listening.
I know I may have at least gotten through to a member of the press. Angela Starke, with ABC 7 News was there covering the event. She had no idea there was to be a counter-protest by the Gathering of Eagles. Some vets were asking her why we got no coverage in the news and she kept saying she didn't know because nobody told her. She said that there are over 200 people in the newsroom, and if someone takes a call and doesn't care, that's not her fault. It's sad to think that reporters don't do much digging, and only run with what they're given, but she explained she's kept very busy covering murders and other stories- so I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I asked her if she knew about the protest in Brussels and what happened there- she did not know... I told her the story, and I told her of Beslan, and what was done there, and of the Perfect Day scenario- and gave her addresses to this blog, Gates of Vienna, and www.thereligionofpeace.com She pledged to do some research on radical islam and promised she would make herself available- going so far as to provide me with her personal contact information in the event I became aware of anything that needed covered. I hope and pray she investigates and uncovers the truth that so many veterans and analysts have, and I hope and pray she spreads it to the masses so that we can be united as a nation in the face of what can only be called evil.
People came from all over the country, (many as part of a 4636 mile caravan) and even outside the country, to show their support for the troops. If you weren't there, please try to make it next time. As long as there are those who would deface our monuments, as long as there are those who would march to see America fall to tyranny, there will be eagles watching and waiting.