Skip to comments.SUPPORT OUR TROOPS - Patriots Rally for America III - 1/18/2003 - After-Action Report
Posted on 01/21/2003 9:52:13 PM PST by Angelwood
The Support Our Troops Patriots Rally For America III, co-sponsored by the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic and MOVEOUT (Marines and Other Veterans Engaging Outrageous Un-American Traitors) was held on Saturday, January 18, 2003, at the Constitution Gardens area of the Mall overlooking the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and other war memorials.
It was a crisp clear morning and it was extremely cold -- 9 degrees. In fact, it was the coldest day so far this winter in Washington, D.C.
Doctor Raoul volunteered to be at the site early to oversee the set up of the stage and sound system. The Event Rentals crew was prompt and efficient as ever. They were waiting as Angelwood arrived to take care of the paperwork. Doctor Raoul and the crew supervisor quickly decided upon the best location for the equipment and everyone went to work.
From the speakers stand, the view was beautiful. Slightly to the left was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- the Wall. Even from a distance, it is impressive and very sobering. There were already visitors walking its length, along with an occasional runner.
To the right of the stage was a picture-perfect view of an ice-covered pond with the Washington Monument rising majestically behind it. Directly in back of the stage, which was set up on the crest of a small hill, was a backdrop of trees. Beyond the trees, the hill sloped downhill to a number of pedestrian paths and heated restroom facilities (no porta-potty duty for this rally).
A TV truck from Channel 4 (NBC) arrived and began preparations for a live broadcast. Slowly, FReepers and veterans began to show up with signs and flags. Some of us ducked into heated cars for a last quick warm-up before the program started. Other reporters, cameramen and photographers were soon on the scene interviewing the organizers and participants of the event.
Angelwood gave a live interview broadcast on Channel 4 (NBC) and was able to bring attention to RodgerDs Flag and Symbol Guide and point out that the sponsoring group of the anti-war rallies (IAC/ANSWER) is a front group for the Communist World Workers Party. Two Freepers holding signs were behind Angelwood during the interview and the camera panned to them. One of the signs was the cartoon posted by justAmy with the old lady saying, If you must burn our flag, wrap yourself in it first.
It should be noted that we corrected the NBC reporter (and other reporters throughout the day) when they described us as Pro-War. We emphasized that we were rallying in support of our troops who were fighting the war on terrorism. The NBC reporter wrote that down; but, LIVE on camera, her introduction of our group was again, Pro-War Patriots Rally.
Next, a U.S. Park Service Ranger was interviewed and he gave some information about both rallies. He told us that the anti-war groups permit estimated 30,000 people would be attending the rally and march.
Kristinn and sauropod were giving interviews to radio and newsprint reporters. Another TV truck arrived from WUSATV9 (Local Channel 9 -- CBS). People were gradually moving from the edge of the street to the rally point on the hill and the flags were flying.
Along about this time, a group of men dressed in distinctive red jackets and red berets were spotted walking toward the Rally. They were members of the Guardian Angels in New York and D.C. and were led by the Guardian Angels founder, Curtis Sliwa.
On Friday morning, Mr. Sliwa told his audience listening to the Curtis & Kuby show that he was going to go to D.C. to protest the anti-war people. Members of Free Republic heard this and called into the show to invite Curtis to join them at the Patriots Rally near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He accepted and brought some of his friends from the Guardian Angels with him.
While waiting behind the stage for the Rally to start, Curtis paced back and forth and made a phone call to the WABC Saturday morning host, John Gambling. He gave a live report about what he had seen on the trip to D.C. and what he saw as he drove through the city. He and the other Guardian Angels stood as a backdrop to the speakers on the stage throughout the morning.
All the last minute details were worked out, the press packets were assembled ready to hand out to the numerous representatives of the media, and we were ready to roll. We were only 15 minutes late in starting.
Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic, welcomed the crowd and asked everyone to turn toward the Vietnam Memorial to listen to Taxman read the Red Skelton version of the Pledge of Allegiance and then lead the assembly in the Pledge. We could not see the flag that we knew was flying near the Wall, but we turned and looked in that direction, standing at attention or with hand on heart, as we listened to Taxman. Then, proudly, we all joined Taxman in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance together.
Still facing the Wall, we gave our respects to those who paid the ultimate price defending Freedom as the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, was played. The Patriots Rally had begun.
As John Armor, a columnist for UPI and our very own Congressman BillyBob on Free Republic, was introduced, people gathered on the hill. His speech was about George Washington and his men wintering at Valley Forge. We all had a pretty good idea of the harsh conditions that met these patriots.
FreeTheHostages had set up shop at a small table where the extra signs, buttons and supplies were available. She was also in charge of the press packets which included a copy of our most recent press release showing the names of our speakers and our purpose, a number of articles detailing communist ties of the IAC/ANSWER organizers and The Flag and Symbol Guide of recent anti-war demonstrations put together by RodgerD. She was very busy since we had 40 or so members of the press in attendance at the Patriots Rally.
FreeTheHostages and Kristinn were the main contacts calling in reports for the live Rally thread to our volunteers, Pippin and Mustang. FTHs battery on her cell phone died; but she was able to find people with cell phones so she could complete the task. Thank you all for letting everyone know details of the Rally.
Kudos go to sauropod, also. He set up a comfy chair complete with warm blanket and videotaped the Patriots Rally from start to finish. He had the best seat at the Rally.
After John Armor spoke, Kristinn introduced Kevin Martin, a member of VetsCoR (Veterans for Constitutional Restoration); AARLC (African-American Republican Leadership Council); a frequent guest on The OReilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes; and Free Republic poster, Trueblackman. Kevin spoke about his experiences as an enlisted man in the Navy from 1993 until 2000 and wove a patriotic tapestry with his words about America and the trials she faces.
Curtis Sliwa stepped up to the podium when Kevin had finished and gave a rip-roaring speech, that took our minds off the freezing cold. He told the audience about the trip to D.C. and about some of the signs and people taking part in the anti-war protest that he had seen before he arrived at the Patriots Rally. He was fired up and the crowd was enthusiastic. (Soundbites from this speech were played later in the evening on WTOP radio.)
James Parmelee was the next speaker. He is the head of NorthernVirginiaGOP.com and was instrumental in the defeat of the transportation tax referendum in Virginia last November. He is also a member of Free Republic and spoke at the first Patriots Rally in April 2002.
Kristinn took a few minutes to briefly describe the background of the organizers of the IAC/ANSWER anti-war protest. He then introduced Joel Kernodle, PoinTman Herc on Free Republic and the spokesman for MOVEOUT. Kristinn was moved to tears as he introduced Joel, noting that it was by the grace of God that Joel's name was not on The Wall.
During his speech, Joel spoke of the pride he and his fellow veterans have in their service to America in Vietnam and how the soldiers won that war, only to see the politicians lose it.
As he spoke about supporting the war on terror, Joel said that one of the reasons is that we do not want to see a mushroom cloud over Washington, D.C.; adding that that is a big reason why Saddam Hussein must be stopped now. The many veterans in the audience listened attentively to his emotional speech.
While the next speaker was finishing up an interview, Kevin Martin stepped on stage to entertain questions from the audience and, wouldnt you know it, there was one anti-war protester (No War for Oil) within our ranks who spoke up. He and Kevin had a polite conversation; but he eventually left without changing his mind.
Aziz Al-Taee, from the Iraqi-American Council, was the last speaker. He spoke at our October Patriots Rally and was invited to speak at this one. Aziz is a naturalized American citizen born in Iraq. He spoke about his relatives' and friends' personal experiences at the hands of Saddam Hussein - including a cousin who was brutally murdered on Saddam's orders and other horrific acts that the mainstream press rarely report. He showed pictures of the victims of a village that was gassed by Saddam Hussein. His speech was very powerful and should have been broadcast.
B-1 Bob Dornan, former U.S. Congressman (R-Ca.), unfortunately was unable to make it to the Rally. After we made this announcement, one of the Guardian Angels suggested that we sing God Bless America. We asked if anyone would like to lead the singing. Hobsonphile (who, by the way, has a beautiful voice) graciously volunteered and we ended the Patriots Rally on a high note singing GOD BLESS AMERICA.
We estimate that the number of people who attended the Rally probably was around 100 with about 40 or so members of the press (we did not do a count). Surprisingly, we were thronged by the press in all forms. There were nine cameramen on the scene at one point, including Channels 4 and 9, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Dutch TV, and others with no obvious markings. The Washington Post had print and website representatives there and the Washington Times reporter stayed with us throughout the day. There were some college student reporters and radio reps as well. Just about everyone attending the Rally was interviewed or photographed during the course of the morning, that is, if they were willing to give an interview
As the Events Rental crew broke down the stage and we cleaned up Constitution Gardens, we made plans to go in groups or convoys to the Marine Barracks at 8th and I Streets, SE. There was plenty of time to get lunch, relax and get warm before standing guard at the Barracks and lining the parade route of the anti-war protesters.
We'd be lying if we said we weren't disappointed with the turnout. That being said, we are extremely grateful to those who showed up and stood in the cold for hours -- speakers included. Those who came recognized the importance of showing support for our troops on a day when anti-American leftists would rule the day in our nation's capital and in the media. The veterans, especially, understood the propaganda value to our enemies of such demonstrations going unchallenged.
The communists of IAC/ANSWER are emboldened by their success in leading the so-called anti-war movement and crow about it to their fellow communists around the world. The absence of any strong counter-demonstrations to their actions surely heartens them.
The next time they come to D.C., we urge our fellow FReepers to make the necessary sacrifice and join us in countering them. Not for us, but for our troops and for our country. America is fighting a war for her survival. We, on the home front, must do all we can.
LisaFab; naystoshays; nina0113; steve0113; Ed (w/LisaFab); BufordP; sauropod; KLT; hellinahandcart; GunsareOK; Mark Phelps; Angelwood; L_Von_Mises and his wife; Fred Mertz; 1stbn27; Ted Hatchet; Billy Joe Churchwell; muskrat46; kristinn; Taxman; PoinTmanHerc; Exit148; 3D-JOY; Congressman BillyBob; Clarissa; April; FreeTheHostages; Doctor Raoul; tgslTakoma; Hobsonphile; Xthe17th; mudpuppy, her husband, son and daughter; MudboySlim; Delphinium; The Glaswegian and son; bmwcyle; DarthRaven; leadpenny; Jimmy Valentine's brother; James Parmalee; Trueblackman; BillF; Ligeia; FrustratedCitizen; rabidone; Samurai_Jack and son.
Please let us know if you attended and we missed listing your name here.
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BTW, other than the first two photos (leadpenny, and vets), the others were some of our speakers. Unfortunately I was distracted by other duties and missed getting Taxman and James Parmalee at the podium. My sincere apologies to both.
Next message, I'll post links to other images. I don't want to slow the thread down with too many images.
Here's some fun ones...
"No war for Oil" guy, who wanted to argue his point from the audience. Mudboy acted as a greeting party and did later introduce the guy to the crowd; and he even invited the man to speak his mind.
And here's the "no war for Oil" guy, thinking about one of the answers he got.It looks like he's thinking REALLY hard.
As our Rally wound down, I turned to look at the beautiful view. I think that even the d#*! Canada Geese were frozen... maybe they'll go back to Canada??
We don't have a large military presence in our city, but I do believe it's time for me to make another visit to the Armed Forces Recruiting Station with a word of thanks to our men and women in uniform. Wonder if they like KrispyKremes?
Honest Angelwood returns change (they gave her too much)What's up with the aura around Samurai Jack's head? (It's just the neon sign in the window, but it do look weird, don't it?
You fergot Alan, the Lib'ral Disruptor who hitch-hiked his way down from NooYawk to heckle our speakers...however, Kevin Martin (aka TBM), took him over to the side fer a 30-minute one-on-one and talked him into being a RabidRightWingWhacko like the rest of US, but he doesn't have a computer yet, so he won't be FReepin' right away!!
I've got a great picture of Alan and Kevin with their arms over each others shoulders and their off-hands flashing the thumbs-up sign. I'll see if someone at work can't help me post this photo...LOL!!
Great job, DeeCee FReepers!! Y'all are THE BEST...BAR NONE!!
I maintain that if you took the AmericaHaters out of the demonstration, there would be only IGNORANT Dolts who were lookin' to make the news!!
"LET'S ROLL Towards Justice and Liberty Fer ALL!!!"
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