Just hours ago, I, along with Melanie Morgan, Cat Moy, Mary Pearson and the rest of the Move America Forward team, attended the Eagles Up!/GOE “Eagles Muster” rally. Move America Forward was honored to assist Eagles Up and Free Republic in organizing today’s events.
Pictured are Melanie Morgan (left) Colonel Harry Riley of EaglesUp, and Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee of Move America Forward.
Walking through the lawn up to the Washington Monument, at the bottom of which everyone was assembled, I felt way more comfortable surrounded by Veterans and military families than I did yesterday when we had those insurgents at our press conference. At the press conference I was literally shaking because I did not know what to expect from the large group of Code Pink activists, and I guess we saw what their intentions were. Well it was clear there would be none of that today!
Our MC for the day, Lawrence Hoffa or “GUNNY” as we call him, introduced Col. Harry Riley who spoke very eloquently about why we are here and what we are doing with this rally here today.
“Eagles Muster” he explained, is the anniversary rally to last years March 17th Rally where it was estimated that several thousand patriots braved sleet, wind and ice to rally on the capitol mall and send a message to the ‘moon bat’ fringe-left: “We’re Coming For You!”
A year later we return to reflect back upon the year’s worth of events and what has happened since March of 2007. Back then, General David Petraeus had only recently fully taken the reigns in prosecuting the Iraq war; the Troop Surge was in its early stages and still had many critics and skeptics on both sides of the fence. Anti war groups were vehemently opposed to this new strategy, saying that more troops in Iraq would only escalate into more violence, and their efforts to rally, march, and protest all over the country to stop The Surge from happening were in full force.
We have seen the situation on the ground change dramatically. In Iraq we have seen incredible success come from the surge. Violence is down drastically all over Baghdad thanks to our troops restoring order and working with Iraqi security forces and Iraqi Army to maintain it. Shiite militias like the Madhi Army have called a truce and pledged to work with Coalition Forces (and many have owned up to that promise) and Sunni terrorist groups, mainly Al Qaeda, have been kicked out of their stronghold neighborhoods of Baghdad, retreating to the far flung outskirts of Iraq where they stand broken, on the brink of utter destruction, hanging on by a finger nail while United States, Coalition, and Iraqi forces are breathing down their necks.
Then we heard from Melanie Morgan who talked about The Sedition Report that we just finished compiling and how it ties in with the Eagles Up! Rally.
Similar to Al Qaeda, the anti-war groups have also been knocked down and bloodied (but they are not down for the count yet!). Their efforts to get Washington to listen to their rantings about “peace, love and ganja” have failed. In the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans, they have also failed, with support for the War actually increasing in recent months. As evidence of these facts, one only needs to look at their change of tactics, these groups have gone local and are now attacking recruiting centers often violently, displaying the wide-eyed ferocity of a group that knows they have lost and are desperately lashing out and frantically trying to hurt or bring down anyone they can.
This desperation is why we see Al Qaeda now resorting to using the mentally challenged and physically disabled as suicide bombers to carry out their attacks. It is also why groups like A.N.S.W.E.R, World Can’t Wait, SDS, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice and others have resorted to attacks and harassment of Military Recruiting Centers.
Melanie said that we cannot afford to let up the pressure on these anti-war groups, that we must continue to hold our rallies and spread our message, continue to counter them at whatever they do, keep the pressure on, chase THEM to the far reaches of the battlefield and smoke them out of their caves!
Melanie brought Debbie Lee up to the podium to talk about her experiences. Most of us have heard her story, and her son Marc’s story before, which is a testament to the commitment of Debbie Lee to carry her son’s story on and use her voice to send his message of hope and sacrifice all over the country.
Marc, a US Navy SEAL, stood up in the line of fire 3 times in the same day during fighting in Fallujah. He did it to save his buddy Ryan’s life. Ryan had been hit by shrapnel and the seal team was pinned on a rooftop by snipers on another building. Marc stood up 3 times and put himself in the line of fire to provide the cover fire necessary to get the SEALS off the roof. Because of that Ryan is still alive today.
Later that day Marc and his buddies volunteered to go out and fight again to root out those insurgents, and it was then that Marc was shot by a sniper and gave his life for his nation. Debbie has told this story a thousand times to thousands of people and every time I watch her and watch the crowd as she is talking, I am still gripped at the emotion I see in peoples faces, and the emotions it continues to stir in my own heart.
Mel then introduced a good friend of hers Ron Winter who talked about what was going on yesterday with the IVAW Winters Soldier testimony. It’s interesting to note how the Winter Soldiers get their name.
According to the American Thinker blog in thier post about IVAW and Winters Soldier it seems most likely that they are trying to frame themselves as the bravest, and those doing the right thing.
They say a summer soldier is someone who only supports the troops and makes sacrifices when the odds are in our favor. A winter soldier is someone willing to fight when the chips are down. Thus it is with incredible self importance and arrogance that the 1971 group, and the IVAW group are calling themselves winter soldiers.
In my opinion, and this is also what Ron Winters spoke to at the rally, these IVAW guys are really the summer soldiers, they are making these allegations and atrocities so that they can benefit either personally, or their ideology will benefit politically (ie. Democrats win) by their actions and at the expense and defaming of their fellow soldiers. Disgraceful!
We heard from several others, veterans of the war who simply wanted to thank the crowd for assembling and showing their support. One marine said “you are why we fight.”
An airman told us that it’s great when the troops come home and see patriots like us there to greet them instead of the pinkos.
Gunny Hoffa wrapped up the rally with the Star Spangled Banner which the whole crowd sang a capela and then we started the march!
We started out on Constitution Ave and 13th, marching up Constitution to 3rd right to the Capitol. I was basically the last person to start marching and I had to run to catch up, they had police cars ahead of the march stopping traffic and then two squad cars following the march with orange-vested organizers flanking either side to make sure no one wandered into traffic.
After I caught up, I spent most of my time up at the very front of the procession with Ryan Gill who is Operations Director for MAF. We marched down the street shouting “USA, USA, USA” and “Support our Troops, Let Tem Win!” When we got down to 3rd we made a hard right and doubled back up through the capitol mall where the march ended and the group congregated.
I was struck, as we walked down the streets being eyed my many curious bystanders or tourists, at how there was absolutely no presence from Code Pink or any other leftist group. I was almost sure, I was anticipating, I was ready to turn the corner somewhere and be stunned by a mass of old ladies in Pink and punk kids in black and orange, but it never materialized. I don’t even remember being yelled at or confronted by anyone the whole day. It was pretty amazing.
Occasionally I saw a guy give me a hard look, or a woman whispers to her friend something while staring at us, but that was the only thing I saw all day that indicated to any effect that someone didn’t support the troops or their missions. Most of the people I saw were supporting our march, waving or smiling as we passed, clapping along with us and snapping a photo or two. Many cars honked to support us too! It was pretty awesome really. This must be what it’s like for an anti-war group to march through the most liberal parts of San Francisco. But this isn’t a conservative town like in Orange County, San Jose, Texas or Florida, its Washington DC!
Surprised as I was, it could do nothing but encourage me when I saw all those people out there supporting what we were doing! A few joined us, but most just offered their support and went about their business.
Overall I have to say it was a lot of fun just to come out in support of our troops, without having to deal with Code Pink. I can only assume they were scared off! And it was wonderful to recognize all the great successes that our troops have made and that our movement has made. All have made great strides in our respective efforts to protect what makes America the strongest and greatest nation on earth.