I got on the bus as one of the last people, and there was one seat for me in the back. I had planned to work with friend and former co-worker Doug, but we had to split up.
It worked out ok. I ended up sitting with a great family - Mom, Dad, a teenage girl and her older sister -- a nurse in KC, and their grandmother -- who as it turns out is Chris Loesch's aunt. Which is probably too obscure for most people out there, but he is Dana Loesch's husband. I think I've made some new friends.
But I didn't really care so much about that... I was there to be another face in the crowd. Sure I wanted to hear some of what was going on on stage, but I was there to be a part of it.
Along the way, we had run across a few people with statements to make. I snapped a shot of a guy on a street corner with a sign that read "Freedom without socialism is priviledge and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality." Never mind that Socialism with Freedom is impossible without the socialism being completely voluntary -- that is, private charity. I'm sure he thought he was being intellectual.
We wanted to see how many people were in and beyond the trees and just how thick the crowd was, so Chris, Penny, and I along with a couple of others struck out for the north side of the reflection pond.
The back of the crowd near the monument was sparse. The closer you got to the WWII Memorial at the head of the reflecting pool the more packed it got. From the WWII Memorial to the stage, it was solid people, packed in.
The area between the pond and the sidewalk was full of standing people. Then the little hill in the trees to the north was full as well. There were still people streaming in from the Northwest making their way through a pretty decent crowd in those areas as well. There was a pretty decent crowd behind the stage on the steps of the Linconl memorial as well.
Glenn Beck had about the last hour of the rally after some awards handed out by Sarah Palin and a talk from Alveda King and some singing mixed in.
Glenn's speech was very good. I'll have to go over it again ... I'm sure it's on YouTube, but I have an insider subscription and I'll probably get it there when I get a chance. In the latter half of it, he introduced the new Black Robe Brigade ... 240 preachers and ministers and priests on stage who agreed to basically emphasize personal responsibility and personal salvation from the pulpit. That latter half of the speech was more peppered with Religious Revival tones... which I have absolutely no problems with.
Before we struck out for the busses from the Washington Monument, columns of what I assume were Al Sharpton people went marching across the Mall crosswise.... making sure to cross the people leaving our rally, chanting, carrying signs, and I'm guessing trying to provoke a reaction from us. Nobody was biting. It was a bit odd, there'd be a group go across.... nothing for a long while, then another large group ... this happened 3 or 4 times over the course of an hour or so. I was starting to wonder if it wasn't the same group marching across multiple times.
I will have to come up with another post to talk more about what I took from my experience ... this post was mostly to spew my "diary" of basically what I saw before I forgot. It's a busy week for me.
One last note. Does the black man above look afraid of all the white people around him? Do the white people around him look afraid of him? The crowd indeed was overwhelmingly white. But there was nobody at the gate, indeed, there were no gates .... turning anyone away because they weren't "white". This rally was free and open to anyone. Now.... look at the signs being carried by the protestors in the picture on the right. Just sayin'. There were Blacks and Asians and his Hispanics interspersed all over the crowd. They were a part of the crowd. Skin color does not matter. Ideals matter. Principles matter. Honor matters.