Quote of the day:
"I've got some friends over there," said Rod Linkous of El Paso, gesturing toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He served two tours in Vietnam in the 1960s and '70s.
"We defended their right to say whatever they want," Linkous, 59, said of war protesters past and present. "They have the freedom of speech. We gave that freedom by fighting and dying for it."
Since today is the day of the anti-war protesters marching to the pentagon and the Gathering of Eagles making their stand to protect the Vietnam Memorial Wall, I will continue updating this post as news comes out about it.
The first story I have found is from the AP, so, take it with a grain or two of salt.
Key line from this article first shows that once again the anti-war protesters cannot abide by the law and protest in a manner that is legal, hence, approximately 200 of them have already been arrested.
Park Police Lt. Scott Fear said more than 200 people were arrested from a crowd of several thousand protesters who marched to the White House on Friday night after a peace service at the Washington National Cathedral. Those arrested were handcuffed, taken away on buses and fined $100 for disobeying a lawful order or crossing a police line. They had demonstrated on the sidewalk in front of the White House, where protesters are required to continue moving.
Protesting is not illegal, no matter my personal thoughts on this particular group, they DO have the right to protest. They also must obey the law and protest in a manner consistent with the law.
They didn't. They were handcuffed, arrested and fined.
To set the scene:
WASHINGTON - Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators and supporters of the U.S. policy in
Iraq shouted at each other Saturday from opposite sides of a street bordering the National Mall as protesters formed a march to the Pentagon to denounce a war entering its fifth year.
The anti-war group carried signs saying "U.S. Out of Iraq Now," "Stop Iraq War, No
Iran War, Impeach" and "Illegal Combat." The other side carried signs saying "Peace Through Strength," "al-Qaida Appeasers On Parade" and "We Are At War, Liberals Root For the Enemy."
Police on horseback and foot separated the demonstrators, who were on opposite sides of Constitution Avenue in view of the Lincoln Memorial. Barriers also kept them apart.
Police on horses ensured anti-war protesters and counterdemonstrators stayed apart at the staging area. Several thousand people, many of them service members, rallied in support of the war. They played "The Battle Hymn of the Republic;" the anti-war crowd danced to Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."
Veterans, some from the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group, lined up at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Amazing to me that out of the two groups, one "supposedly" protesting for peace, the other to protect the Vietnam Memorial Wall and show full, unconditional support to our troops in the field, it is the "peace" crowd that cannot abide by the law and ends up being arrested.
That should tell us something, huh?
More on this from Wapo:
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. The organizers of the march to the Pentagon have modeled the protest after a key 1967 demonstration along the same route that denounced the U.S. military campaign in Southeast Asia.
Today's counter-demonstration, organized by a group called the Gathering of Eagles, drew people from around the country who said they came to voice support for the war and for the troops in Iraq and to make sure that the Vietnam memorial, near the war protest's starting place, is not desecrated. Many were veterans of the Vietnam war or relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq.
Rick DeMarco, 62, from Cleveland who was a Marine in Vietnam, said plans for the rally started after reports that at a war protest in January demonstrators defaced the steps to the Capitol. Veterans became concerned, he said, that demonstrators might vandalize the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and began an e-mail campaign to recruit supporters to come to Washington today.
They began gathering at 6 a.m. and by 7 had "completely occupied the sacred ground," DeMarco said. All the entrances to the memorial were filled with Gathering of Eagles supporters, who held a rally with speakers and placards and American flags. They allowed others to view the memorial but were positioned to stop any attempt to deface it.
K.C. O'Brien, 65, flew in from Fairfield, Calif., to help serve as one of marshals for the Gathering of Eagles. "We feel that fighting terrorism around the world is better than fighting it here," he said. Pointing to the antiwar protesters, he added, "If they're anti-war, does that make me pro-war? I've been there. I've seen how awful war is. But there are things that are worse -- living under tyranny."
According to Wapo, 100 of those arrested were Christian peace activists.
Keep checking back, as news of this progresses I will continue to update this post.
[UPDATE] A quick note here: Seems the protest today was specifically "aimed" at recreating the 1967 protest.
My only comment to that is what I said in yesterdays post:
This is not Vietnam, Hanoi Jane, and you will not walk all over our Veterans again.... They, their families, their friends, their supporters and now the teens, will see to it.
The teens referred to here are Palmetto Sea Cadets, which has joined the Gathering of Eagles for the day to protect the Wall.
[Update #2] Just found this about "These Colors Don't Run", written yesterday March 16, 2007:
Now with that anniversary approaching, the anti-war movement is determined to revisit history by marching to the Pentagon once again, to demand American surrender in the war on terrorism.
For the defeat-retreat-surrender crowd there is also the added significance that this marks the 4th Anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The problem for the cut-and-run crowd is that a hearty group of American patriots won't sit back and allow another generation of America's troops to be denigrated and disrespected.
For the past seven days a caravan of families who lost children in the war on terrorism, families who still have loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring freedom have crossed the nation to send a message to the nation: Surrender is not an option.
The brave men and women of the United States military will not come home to an ungrateful nation. There will be no more spitting on our troops, no more harassing of our troops when they wear their military uniforms in public.
The most telling part of this story from Canada Free Press is:
The "These Colors Don't Run" pro-troop caravan, organized by the pro-troop grass-roots group, Move America Forward, began March 8th with three pro-troop rallies in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region that might seem like an unlikely place for pro-troop supporters to gather.
The response was phenomenal.
Pro-troop supporters outnumbered anti-war activists by a ratio of more than 1,000 to 12.
American flags waved proudly at the rallies, cleansing the negativity and defeatism of the liberal bastions of San Francisco with patriotism and pride -- pride in our troops, pride in our country and pride in the American ideals of freedom and liberty.
As the caravan has crossed the nation the number of anti-war protestors dropped to literally zero.
The anti-war protest this time around is producing different results than the one in 1967, much to the dismay of the Hanoi Janes and Cindy Sheehans of this new effort.
Please read that whole article because it shows the incredible support this Pro-support effort has garnered in the media and the awsome welcome these fine Veterans are getting to their support for our troops and our efforts.
The caravan has been received surprisingly well by the news media. News helicopters followed the caravan, providing aerial coverage to viewers in several cities. Radio stations broadcast the rallies live in city after city.
In the nation's second largest media market, Los Angeles, both news radio stations covered the rally -- making it their top story.
The New York Times blogged about the caravan. Washington Post Radio is doing a segment on the historic event, and USA Today and the Reuters news service couldn't ignore the success of the caravan as they reported on its progress.
In central Texas the caravan received a police escort and was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. In Dallas a choir comprised of homeschoolers sang patriotic songs to the crowd, their voices breathtakingly beautiful.
In Memphis, Tennessee a thunderstorm dumped over an inch of rain in a one-half hour period, but that didn't stop local residents from turning out and vocally supporting the caravan at a boisterous rally.
On Saturday the caravan will complete its journey in Washington, D.C. where Move America Forward's hearty road-warriors will team up with several other pro-troop and veteran's groups for the "Gathering of Eagles" -- an effort to protect America's war memorials from desecration and vandalism by the most radical of the anti-war protestors.
Marine Mom Deborah Johns, who has traveled with the "These Colors Don't Run" caravan all across the nation, said it's up to each of us to make sure that our men and women in uniform come home in victory from their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Some people say it's a hopeless cause to try and fight against the media's misreporting on the war effort and the negativity from the anti-everything crowd.
"What these people fail to recognize is that the American public wants to succeed. They want our troops to prevail in this cause so that America may never face another attack from Islamic terrorists again. We can sit back and whine about the media coverage of the war, or complain about the actions of anti-war protestors. Instead, it's time for the eagles to gather up, soar high, and lead this nation ahead with confidence and determination to declare victory over tyranny, terrorism and fear."
Eagles up everyone, the battle for hearts and minds here in America is just as important as the battle our troops are fighting half-a-world away, and it's a battle we can't afford to lose.
This time the news is about them instead of the anti-war protesters.... America, as a whole, might well have learned the lessons of the past.
[Update #3] There are folks Liveblogging the event, posted from Mike's America:
Eagles Returning to the Nest: Mission Accomplished!!!
2 PM: The Anti-American-war protesters are moving to the Pentagon for the next stage of their defeat America rally. News reports confirm what our Eagles have been telling us: that Eagles turnout at least matched, if not exceeded, that of the Anti-American-war types who had earlier bragged about 30-40,000 marchers.
Our own Eagles, some of whom started out well before dawn, are returning to the nest. Contingents of Eagles will remain at various war memorials on the National Mall to continue protecting them from threats to deface them as protesters did recently by spray painting at the U.S. Capitol.
We look forward to fuller reports from our Eagles as they return to warmer surroundings and better Internet access.
Cajun Tiger pointed out that the Gathering of Eagles took place in a sea of American flags all snapping smartly in the brisk wind. But yet, when he surveyed the scene of the Anti-American-war protesters he saw more Palestinian flags than US flags. Grizzly Mama points out the American flags she observed were flying upside down and had been desecrated with slogans written on the fabric.
Please go check out Mike's America, some great photos and timely updates that have been going on all day. [End Update]
Well Done Eagles!!!! God Bless all of you.
From Cajun Tiger from These Colors Don't run. The picture is worth a thousand words.
[Update #4] Go to The Wide Awakes for some awesome pictures.
GOOOOOOOOOOO. [Update Ends]
[Update #5] Michelle Malkin with more excellent pictures and great commentary. Check it out.
A pure, grass-roots effort, the Gathering of Eagles' volunteers matched the massive Soros-funded anti-war machine sign for sign, chant for chant, and marcher for marcher. The contrast was most stark right before the entrance to the Memorial Bridge, where Eagles gathered with a field of American flags--while anti-Bush, 9/11 conspiracy nuts wrapped themselves in a figurative blanket of yellow "Out of Iraq" placards. Several of the vets shouted, "Yellow! How appropriate!" in between spirited chants of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" While the classless Cindy Sheehan ranted profanely, the Eagles raised their voices in polite, but roaring disapproval and raised their American flags in answer to the ANSWER socialists' Che banners and peace pennants.
One has to wonder about Cindy Sheehan. Mothers grieve and the pain of losing a child is horrible, but her son Casey, RE-ENLISTED, knowing he would be going to Iraq and her actions, in MY opinion, show quite a bit of disrespect for her son and the choices he made.
[Update #6] Free Republic has a live thread, you just HAVE to read some of this to believe it.
A special moment to show the class of our Veterans:
I have two moments:[Update #7] -From Flopping Aces:
One was walking up to the Lincoln Memorial through the veteran booths. Needless to say, the Eagles were in force there. There was a couple walking through and the woman said she felt "she was in enemy territory". Hey lady, you are surrounded by people who fought for this company. Exactly WHO is the enemy?
The other was walking back after the march. There were thre very lost looking peaceniks standing in the same spot as the moonbat lady from before the march. Everyone was tense and ready to pounce - until they noticed one of the peaceniks had blood all over his hand. The vets did a 180 and jumped to help them out. It was great - and a truly nice moment. Our vets are STILL fighting for others, even those that don't agree with them.
I tried to estimate the protesters that walked thru the Eagles gauntlet at the Lincoln Memorial. Based on the width of the "parade" the rate of march and the time they took to pass by my estimate is about 10,000. I note however that it appeared that 1/3 were there to espouse a variety of liberal agendas (health care for mothers, free the Cuban five, Katrina problems, etc) so there were probably about 6,000 anti war protesters.
The Eagles appeared to be about 2000 at around 1200 when I went from the rally site to the Memorial. While more would have been better the ratio was intimidating as they had to pass thru the "hard faced old men" who showed the same fighting spirit they had as young men in that now distant Asian War. I saw no violence but the moonbats saw that a lot of their fellow citizens do NOT agree with them and will not allow the young men fighting for us in SW Asia to be stabbed in the back the way they were in Vietnam. One of our speakers at the rally made that point ("We have your back"). Sounds like a bumper sticker to me... (GOE... We have your back... stand fast!).
My other impression is of the faith and courage of those who came to DC for the GOE. It was bitter cold... I watch a vet in motorcycle club leather (there were a lot as you can see in some of the posted photos) shake so bad from the cold he could not light a cigarette. There were also a lot walking with canes and several in wheel chairs including a few from Walter Reed or Bethesda who were well cared for. God and Jesus were present among the Eagles and both were acknowledged by men who have leaned on them in battle. The park service police were professional. They enforced good order but seemed happy we were there (overheard from a policeman after the protesters parade... "thank you for defending the Wall"). I am glad I went and proud to have been associated with brothers and sisters who love God, country, and each other in a way that the so-called protesters will never comprehend.
Looks like Hanoi Jane didn't show up at all. For the first time an anti-war protest had the same or more people there to show unity FOR our military instead of against it.
Picture I found the most amusing was this:
More to come as the news comes out.
Tracked back by:
Human Debris Descend on DC from JammieWearingFool...
Gathering of Eagles from The Right Nation...