I just got home from the Beck rally, and I am exhausted. But, it was a great family day. Since I live locally this is easy for me. I scoped out the street closings beforehand, got up early and drove straight into the District and parked within a few minutes walk of the Lincoln Memorial.
The one bad part was that many people were left off at a Metro Station in Virginia and they couldn't handle the people. Many, like my friends Kerry and Joe, just gave up and took a taxi in. I am sure that cost a pretty penny as that has to be 20 miles or more. But, many did wait for the trains and missed the beginning of the program. Which is the section that Sarah Palin was in, so I am sure many were disappointed about that. As usual they underestimated the crowd at the beginning and stopped giving out unloading permits to buses. The metro didn't open early as it should have, as much would have been avoided. The metro lost a small fortune as many were given their fares for free.
The people were lined up as far as the eye could see. The Lincoln Memorial, for those who don't know, is away from Constitution Avenue by a few blocks, we were lined up from the reflecting pool all the way out to Constitution. Just a little directional stuff here, the National Mall runs from the Lincoln Memorial all the way down to the Capitol Building. Starting at the Virginia line, the Lincoln Memorial is first, then comes the reflecting pool, which then opens up to the WWII Memorial. There is a street in between the WWII and the Washington Monument. I heard that the crowd from the Beck rally made all the way across that street. That is also where Al Sharpton's rally "Recapture the Dream" is what I believe it was called. My friends who took a taxi in went by there, and told me that it was a very small crowd. But, I didn't see it for myself so I don't know.
I had an amazing seat. Which since I got there at 5:30am I should have. I didn't even need to look at the jumbotron, as I had a great view of the podium. The one issue was that once the people who were delayed finally showed up, so many people got in front of me that I had a hard time seeing. It sometimes really stinks being short.
I met some amazing people, as I always do at these events. The people behind me were from New York City of all places. The young couple next to me was from Washington State, with I what I believe to be the youngest attendee, their one month old daughter, Mia. A really cutie who was so well behaved. The couple sitting next to me drove seven days from San Francisco. The family in front of me was from Missouri. I also met people from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Iowa, Indiana, and saw a bus that had a sign from Alaska. Obviously, Beck drew people from all over the country.
The one bad piece of news that I did receive today was from the young couple who was sitting to my left are from Nevada. We got to talking about Harry Reid. Of course they don't want to see him be re-elected, but they are not jazzed about Sharon Angle, some of her views are just to Ron Paulian for their tastes. Not only that, none of their friends or neighbors are either. They told me that they are working on getting an Independent onto the ballot. We all know what that means, Harry Reid gets re-elected.
The photos are not very exciting, because I find the most interesting part is the inventiveness of the signs, and everyone listened. The only signs were from the counter protesters. One of which that said something about how evil religion is.
I really would like a left minded individual to explain to me, what exactly is so scary about what we did today. We prayed, we sang some hymns and The National Anthem, we listening to Amazing Grace on the Bagpipes and to some country music. Really, what is so scary about that? Look at those crazy radicals!!! How dare they? A boy scout of all things!!
Amazing Grace always gives me chills, but even more so when it is done on bagpipes. I know that I was not the only there who shed a few tears during this.
I did do something a little naughty today. I had to use the restroom and the porta potties were not really usable in very quick order. I decided to walk up to the memorial itself to use that bathroom. The media was interviewing some of the black people who were there and asking the same old boring questions about racism and The Tea Party. I couldn't help myself; I went up and put my arm around the guy (whom I have never met) and gave him a peck on the cheek and told the reporter that I love this man's courage for standing by his convictions. I looked at the reporter and said let the racism go, it is long since gotten old.
This is Military Man Joe, he has spent his entire adult life defending this country, Say Thanks Joe!!
And of course the Tea Party's Fave Michele Bachmann held a mini townhall to give us a chance to speak to her and ask her questions after the Beck rally ended. LOVE HER!!
I was supposed to go and meet the Hillbuzz Boys, but time ran out and I had to get home. I am sorry that I didn't get a chance to go over and meet them in Foggy Bottom. It would have been fun.
Oh, here is an ariel photo of the "thousands" that attended. Me and a few of my nearest and dearest: Really, it just me and my neighbors that showed up.
I don't know who took this photo, but I found it on facebook.