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by Brigitte de Maubec

The Lincoln Memorial is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the National Park Service

(Aug. 30, 2010) — Saturday was a beautiful day in Washington. When our caravan of buses coming from New Jersey pulled in, the air was morning crisp and getting warm and the sky was clear blue with no clouds in sight. It was a day already full of facts and emotions bearing the promise of more to come.

I had spent several hours talking to the lady sitting next to me about all the issues preoccupying Main Street America. And me, the ex-Democrat, and she the Bush supporter Republican, had found ourselves in agreement over and over.

As we walked from the Metro station to the Mall around 9:00 am, we merged into a growing flow of Americans going in the same direction, a striking metaphor with many more to come.

Past the Obelisk, the crowd was already dense and I realized that I would not make it past the National WWII Memorial. I settled my chair under the trees just to its left. From there I could not see the Lincoln Memorial but I could glimpse a large screen far away across the pond on its right.

By the time the event started, the grounds around me were packed, as well as the sides of the reflecting pond and the lawn to its left. From that fact we already knew our numbers were over half a million, and people were still coming and coming, filling every inch of space still available.

My most proximate neighbors were two conservative men from Boston, a couple of born-again bikers from North Carolina, a group of tea-partiers from the Colorado River and several all-American families, with adopted daughter from China or Vietnamese grandmother in tow.

Several people wore patriotic outfits or stickers. The American flag was prevalent.

Just as the event was about to start, a flock of geese spontaneously took off from behind the WWII Memorial and descended in formation over the entire reflecting pool length toward the Lincoln Memorial. It was a beautiful omen, and another metaphor in light of the non-cooperating eagle of the Inauguration.

The event started with the Pledge of Allegiance immediately followed by the National Anthem. Say what you want, but close to a million voices raised over the Washington Mall singing the National Anthem moves your soul!

Glenn Beck took the stage. From where I was I could not hear that well. I think the organizers, not anticipating such a crowd, had not wired enough speakers that far away from the Lincoln Memorial. Then, he introduced Governor Palin, and the crowd burst into applause and came to attention. A seven- or eight-year-old little girl who was sitting in front of me and who until then had not paid any attention to the proceedings sprung into action by climbing onto her father’s chair and shoulders in order to catch a glimpse of Governor Palin on the far-away screen.

The event went on.

At one point, three or four agents provocateurs in their 20s appeared on our left carrying racist and insulting signs. They were mainly ignored and easily spotted as everybody else had obeyed the no-sign policy. Irrelevant overall.

I left way before the end, fearing the hundreds of thousands of people descending in the Metro at the same time. On my way back I realized that people were still coming in, and that the lawn between the WWII Memorial and the Obelisk had also been overtaken by Patriots.

Overall, considering the tens of thousands leaving early and coming late, we might have approached 1,000,000 attendees.

As I said, I did not hear the event that well, and I could not see it. But what I could hear and see were the other Americans near me. We talked of nothing of importance really, because the important thing to say had already been said just by being there. I felt secure and protected by the strangers surrounding me. I felt akin to them.

Tired of not counting, we wanted to be counted. Tired of not being heard, we wanted to hear the comforting voice of each other.

In the trenches, there was a definite sense of deep-seated anger at the elite and its corruption of our institutions, of our laws and of the souls of our youth and vulnerable members of society. But it is a constructive anger and an irresistible one that will fuel more than a change of majority in Congress, one that goes way beyond politics. It is the kind of anger which turns to wrath.

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, there was Faith and Love, the kind of Faith and Love of God which we all will need to prevent our anger from turning to the dark side.

It was a beautiful day in Washington. But there is a storm gathering, and we came to prepare, to gather strength and to show force.

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  1. No way I could go to DC bodily, but I bind my heart with the attendees who did. Watching it on facebook (add another 130,000) I felt much the same thing as this writer so beautifully expressed. We keep hearing how we have pushed God out of America. Well we’ve taken the 10 Commandments down from the courthouse wall and we’ve pushed public prayer out of school, but it’s apparent God is alive and well in the hearts of MANY Americans, if not MOST Americans. The 8/28 rally was a powerful reminder right thinking people are still the majority and are beginning to see what must be done.

  2. I watched with great interest and appreciation of the effort and the message but couldn’t help feel that a special opportunity may have been squandered. I believe that in this moment, at that time with the audience that was available, that a mention that it was time for all citizens to honor the Constitution and our founding documents again, and for all politicians to honor their Oaths of Office, would not have jeopardized the nonpartisan and nonpolitical claims of Beck. After all, wasn’t it the “restore honor” rally?

    1. Beck had no idea how successful his rally was going to be. It was a surprise even to him. In many respect it was a roll call rally. One step at a time. The battles are going to be numerous and long lasting. The unravelling of our founding principles took several generations. It is going to take more than ours to restore them.

  3. The Article by Brigitte de Maubec captured my feelings precisely. There is in fact a gathering storm among citizens that are proud to be an American and will not tolerate an administration, nor a Congress, nor the judiciary to highjack this country and our Constitution. A tyrannical government that punishes our States, our military and the people. We the people are fed up with those that add insult to injury; especially so when one is a direct descendant of a Founder of this great Nation. I have known for some time that I inherited a legacy and I know my intended purpose is to assure this legacy continues to the next generation. I too felt secure and protected by the strangers surrounding me. I felt akin to them. We share a common bond that does not need to be explained nor spoken, it surrounds us like a white light. There is no fear, for you are not alone and in your heart you know it is right. This must be what Glenn Beck speaks of when he proclaims “to get behind the shield”. October 7th is the 40 days and 40 nights. I look forward to what this day will represent.

  4. Events transpiring point to provacative attempts to
    stir WE THE PEOPLE into actions leading to martial law
    before November.

    We need to spur actions of our own to get politicians, judges
    and our military to re-label Mr Hope and Change with
    Mr Hoax in Chains.

  5. As Glenn Beck smilingly opined at RESTORING HONOR: “Build It and They Will Come”. Judging by similar overhead pictures of “The Mall” during previous events when the U.S. Park Service/Capital Police provided crowd estimates…500,000 bare minimum. :-)

    “We the people…” came from sea to shining sea.
    “We the people…” pledged allegience to our country.
    “We the people…” sang our country’s song.
    “We the people…” were humbled by our country’s memorialized giants.
    “We the people…” heard nothing but words of God, of Faith, of Hope, of Charity, of Love and of Honor.
    “We the people…” were finally counted.
    “We the people…” were finally heard.

    8/28/10 was indeed a beautiful day in Washington DC. There is indeed a storm gathering and, come hell or high water, “We the people…” shall indeed take our country back.

  6. Thank you for such a lovely and I’m sure description of a heartfelt day by millions. Unity is what it is about.

    Sorry I had to miss it.