Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally: First-Person Account
by Winkie Colby
There's been much debate in the media about Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 2010.
For an accurate depiction of the event, we thank Winkie Colby for providing a first-person account of her experience there:FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: I WAS THERE
On Saturday, August 28th, 2010, I attended the RESTORING HONOR RALLY in Washington, D.C., along with at least 350,000 other Americans.Media estimates of crowd size ranged from 87,000 to 300,000.
Some background: I am not a political junkie, nor am I a devotee of any particular political party or of any news talk show hosts. The truth is I was persuaded to go by my cousin, Lisa, from Alabama, who was absolutely determined to go because she "wants to be counted." So I met Lisa, and my friend Sara, in D.C. for the week-end. I was not even lukewarm about going but I went, but at the end of the day---hot, tired and sunburned---I was very glad to be there.
I spent 6 ½ hours right in the midst of the whole thing, and I made it my business to not focus so much on what was said from the stage as much as what I saw and heard up close. I watched and listened very carefully to the crowds around me so what you are reading is a first-hand account.
I sat and walked and stood in lines with all kinds of people. I saw practically every kind of American imaginable: white, black, Asian, Indian, Latino, young, old, handicapped, tattooed bikers, veterans, students, urbanites, farmers, rednecks, gays, tea partiers, newborns, NRA members, Buddhists, Baptists and Boy Scouts. They were ALL there. It was the most people I’ve ever seen at one time in one place.
On the top step of the Lincoln Memorial Lisa and I spoke with a U.S. Park Ranger who told us that from just what he could see down each side of the Reflecting Pool, there was 300,000 people there. Having attended numerous University of Alabama Football games, I had an idea of what a crowd of 90,000-100,000 people looks like and sounds like, and this was 3 ½ or 4 Alabama-Auburn football crowds all in one.Those SEC football fans are legendary, and this Alabama alum knows her football crowds!I never heard a single hateful or disrespectful word from anybody. I never heard any profanity, not a single racial slur
or insult, not the first xenophobic or bigoted comment of any kind.
People were genuinely courteous, polite, and friendly. There was no anger, no violence, and nothing whatsoever threatening
. There were no signs, except six homemade posters held-up by a group of African-American Tea Party supporters from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in support of their candidate. If there were any nuts or fanatics there, I never heard or saw any sign of them.
There were flags: thousands of American flags in all sizes
, several Texas flags, and the Navy Jack Flag: "Don’t Tread on Me."
And there were tee-shirts. Here are some of the best:
1. Not Racist. Not Violent. Not Silent Any Longer
2. S.O.S. Sick of Spending
3. GOD WANTS SPIRITUAL FRUITS: Not Religious Nuts.
4. REAGAN DEMOCRATS…Rise and Unite!
5. I CAN SEE NOVEMBER FROM MY HOUSE.
At the beginning of the Rally, the crowd stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and toward the end, it was thrilling to join in as thousands of voices rose together singing "Amazing Grace."
Overall, I had no apocalyptic revelations or overwhelming emotional insights from attending this event. But some of the people I saw who made the effort to travel to the Rally touched me.
I talked to an 80 year old Marine veteran who had come by bus from Iowa. I watched a frail, elderly Asian American couple wearing matching American Flag shirts, struggle up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and, smiling broadly, hobble over to take a picture of a huge American flag being held-up by 20 people.
I watched a man from Maine wearing a Scout Master uniform lift his small son into the air to see the geese, as if on cue, fly-over the scene at 9:59 a.m. There are too many for me to list but the common denominator was clear: a deep, genuine love and concern for this country.
Who knows what the media and the politicians and the historians will say about the Rally, about those of us who went, and about Glenn Beck — a man described by some as Satan incarnate who simply has the unmitigated gall to point out that Godlessness is nowhere in our nation’s founding and will only be our doom if we don’t---as individuals and as citizens---- find the strength and faith to man-up and face some hard truths.
For whatever it's worth, I was there. Thanks Lisa and Sara: we were counted.
August 30th, 2010
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