It's difficult to describe the overwhelming sense of pride, solidarity and excitement I experienced as I joined with approximately 2 million like-minded patriots from every state in country yesterday at the 9/12 March on Washington. At the risk of conjuring up an unpleasant image, I've never been prouder of my fellow Americans, many of whom traveled long distances and sacrificed hard-earned time and money to make their voices heard.
Since I am still in Pennsylvania visiting family, I rode down on a chartered bus with the West Chester Tea Party folks, a dedicated, passionate and friendly group. Mirroring what I witnessed in DC, they represented a broad cross-section of citizens, from 11 year-old Quentin Cody (who's quite famous in this area for his thoughtful, intelligent and articulate speeches delivered at Town Halls and other rallies) to stay-at-home moms and military veterans. Kudos to trip organizer Paula Stiles, one of the most efficient planners I've ever met. Not only did she expertly manage the inevitable cancellations, waiting lists and endless questions that accompany such an undertaking, she made the entire drive memorable and fun with raffles, patriotic music and even homemade brownies. And best of all, she'd even printed out maps of DC, to make it easy for us to get around, knowing we were all free to go our separate ways before meeting up again for the ride home.
I sat next to a wonderful woman named Beth, who appears at the beginning of my video below. From the beginning of our journey, which began at 6:30 a.m. at the West Goshen shopping center (site of our chartered bus pick-up), it was obvious that September 12, 2009 was going to be a historic day, marking a turning-point in our country. The excitement on the nearly three-hour drive down was palpable as we cruised along I-95. There were two buses in our caravan, but as we got closer to DC, we noticed several others. By the time we pulled into Union Station, any doubts or fears about the event's success were eliminated as one-by-one, every designated parking space welcomed another motorcoach.
As I proceeded through the station with map in hand, I got a call from my friend Sean Williams, BTR host of The War Room, who'd driven up from Orlando, FL. Before I could even inquire as to the crowd size, I heard him cry out exuberantly, "Holy Sh%^&*"! Hearing the roar of the crowd in the background, I couldn't wait to get to the Freedom Plaza and march back up to the Capitol, surrounded by like-minded patriots.
I met up with Sean in front of the building bearing Ronald Reagan's name, and we joined the endless parade. Amid a sea of flags and elaborate, homemade signs, we chanted "USA"!; "Here we come"; and The Pledge of Allegiance (with special emphasis on the phrase "Under God".) We sang God Bless America and The Star Spangled Banner, while above us the skies were partly sunny, with a nice breeze. But even if it had rained, as it appeared to be threatening to do at least a few times during the afternoon, the spirit of this enthusiastic, determined crowd would not have been broken. I can't remember a time when I've felt more connected to my fellow Americans; it's a feeling I will treasure always.
Sean and I then found Premo Mondone, BTR host of Red State Town Hall and his friend David, who'd arrived on a bus from Chattanooga, TN with their local Fair Tax organization. From there, we headed to the Capitol lawn to hear the speeches (at least as best we could from our vantage point) and interact with other 9/12 marchers. Unfortunately, I never did connect with the many others I'd planned to, including my good friends Ellen Snyder, Shona Daress and the wonderful Facebook "YaYa" group, but given the sheer magnitude of the crowd, I'd been lucky to locate anyone I knew.
And as always, these Tea Party Patriots were well-informed, smart, resolved and resolute. They unequivocally reject socialism, Czars, arrogant Congress Critters in both parties, our narcissistic President and his Marxist plans for the USA, and the rampant corruption that has overtaken our government. They want to restore the Constitution and get this country back to the vision of its Founders. Countless signs spelled out the solutions, including tort reform, interstate competition for insurance companies and medical savings accounts.
We met a nice family of five from Southern California (see them in the video), who informed us that contrary to popular belief, most Californians are NOT liberals. The reason they get saddled with liberal politicians like Boxer and Feinstein is because The Golden State allows illegals to vote, going so far as to provide them with ballots in Spanish. Is there any doubt why Obama yearns for the rest of the country to follow in California's heavily taxed, welfare-state footsteps?
A few other fun anecdotes: At one point, a woman walked by and happily informed me that she'd visited the CNN bus (which was parked near the area we'd settled in) and told them to "stop lying about us" and to "get the story straight today" in terms of the crowd numbers and description. Later when we heard ABC (ABC!) had reported 1.7 million, I wondered if the reporter had choked on the words. At one point, Sean got a misinformed Tweet announcing the death of Fidel Castro (which we later discovered to be false), prompting cautious rejoicing from everyone around us. How fitting it would have been on this day, but alas the Dictator lives for a least a little while longer!
No SEIU or any other thugs tried to disrupt the event as far as I could tell. There may have been some there, but we did not encounter any. Given the enormity of the turnout, there's no way they would've succeeded in causing trouble anyway.
Finally, I would also like to thank everyone responsible for planning and executing yesterday's protest, which was one of the most organized events I've ever attended. There were numerous volunteers in yellow tee-shirts offering help and directions, placed at strategic points all along the way. The protesters themselves, while vocal and enthusiastic, were also courteous and polite.
Overall, it was a day that will live on in history, marking a turning-point in the restoration of this country to the people from the grubby hands of special interest groups, self-serving politicians, secular progressive millionaires and billionaires (Gore, Soros etc) and their petulant, arrogant embodiment of "Hope and Change", Barack Hussein Obama. The sleeping giant has awakened with a roar, and "The Silent Majority" is silent no more!
UPDATE: Part One