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WASHINGTON DC 3/17/2007

 

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The REAL Gathering of Eagles Count! What Gives With Fox News?

Let me start by saying that the Gathering of Eagles vigil on Saturday March 17, 2007, to protect the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and show support for our troops fighting terrorism,was an overwhelming success on every possible front.

We had massive crowds, despite frigid weather and a snowstorm that made travel in the Northeast a virtual nightmare for many who made the trip anyway. (Our bus to DC got stuck when we pulled off the highway on a scheduled stop to pick up some veterans in Waterbury, CT. But we got out, and pushed it out of the show drift, and away we went. We are veterans, mind you, we are in the habit of overcoming adversity.)

We made a major statement to America, and to the pro-terrorism forces in our midst, and we did it without any major incidents or violence.

My group arrived at the GOE site at about 9 a.m, under sunny skies but with temps hovering around 40 degrees and a brutally cold wind blowing. I checked in with the organizers, was given my speaker's badge and proceeded to wait out the two hours until it was my turn to address the gathering.

Just before 10 a.m. when the crowd gathered before the speakers' platform was at its largest and mostly densely packed, I took it upon myself to do a little leg work to get an idea how many people were there. I noted the group's boundaries, and twice walked the perimeter's length and width, once then, once later when most people were gone.

It came to approximately 200 feet across by 600 feet deep. I stress here, these are approximate numbers. That gives a total of about 120,000 square feet. I assigned an area 3 feet by 3 feet (9 square feet) per person, which is a lot more room than many people were taking up, but nonetheless means that in that area, at that time, there were approximately 13,000 people gathered.

The GOE website says the Park Service is putting our numbers at 30,000 compared to 4,000 or so for the pro-terrorists.

I don't have access to all their figures, but I do know that in one place at one time we had close to 13,000 people. My methods were general, not scientific, but reasonable.

The media gave conflicting numbers all day, and ended up trying to say that the vets were outnumbered by the pro-terrorism forces, as if that matters. Fact is, just about everyone agrees that all the Fonda/Sheehan forces could muster was about 4,000 demonstrators and terrorists.

If I am wrong by fully half in my estimates, which I'm not, but let's just say if, then we still outnumbered the terrorists by double. Did you hear that, politicians who didn't bother to attend or support us?

Did you hear that National VFW and American Legion officers, who never once made a formal statement or news release supporting our gathering? Both politicians and veterans organizations get their power from the same place, veterans joining and veterans voting.

America's politicians and main veterans organizations failed miserably in this endeavor. But we didn't.

I am not trying to be an expert at crowd estimates here, but the fact is, the media has been downplaying the veterans' presence at the gathering, and overstating our conduct, which we all pretty much expected, and which we got. But the crowd estimates that have come out are pure nonsense, and what surprises me the most is that FOX News is right out there with the Associated Press in handing out this tripe.

FOX apparently did assign a reporter to stop by the GOE site, but the network's remote broadcast truck was stationed on Henry Bacon Drive adjacent to the pro-terrorist rally headlined by Cindy Sheehan that started this whole thing in the first place, and the stand up reporting was done from there all day. One of my fellow veterans listened to one of the live reports in which the lady doing the reporting said that the two camps had equal numbers of people. How do you make that claim when you are hundreds of yards away from the GOE site?

How do you account for all the people on the sidewalks along Constitution Avenue who were protecting our rally site from the pro-terrorism forces who were trying to force their way in, or our members who stationed themselves along the pro-terrorists' march route to the Pentagon, or those who went over to Arlington, or those who stayed at The Wall? How do you? I'd love to hear the answer.

Fox spent precious little time at the GOE, and grossly underestimated the numbers of veterans there, as did the Associated Press, which always intentionally inflates the numbers of anti-American demonstrators and exaggerates the conduct of anyone who opposes them.

For instance, did Fox show any of the foul-mouthed middle aged women who repeatedly passed through the veterans' rally area, three blocks away from the pro-terrorists permitted rally site, trying to incite violence with the vets? Did Fox, the AP, Washington Post or any other news organization quote these vicious foul-mouthed middle-aged freak show candidates when they were deliberately trying to create confrontations with the veterans?

What does the Main Stream, American Terrorist Media, which in this case, includes Fox News have to show for their efforts to promote pro-terrorism? A couple of idiots who tried to inflame the veterans got their stupid signs taken away from them, and a couple others got their feelings hurt in shouting matches.

Oh, the humanity. Too freakin' bad. Bummer. Sorry 'bout that. If you can't take the heat, go live at the North Pole.

FOX has a lot of support in the American military and veteran community because it is the only network that has even made an effort to report that we exist anywhere except in old Rambo movies and anti-war propaganda. But Fair and Balanced seemed to take a tilt over to the Unfair and Unbalanced side on Saturday. I would strongly recommend that the bean counters at FOX take a hard look at the balance sheets of the New York Times and other media outlets that are paying the price for supporting communism and other terrorists.

If it comes down to it, America's veterans can turn on the Internet and turn off the Cable TV just as we started cancelling our subscriptions to the print media and turning off the nightly evening news. Just a suggestion.

A few other notes from the gathering:
Late Saturday afternoon, at about 4 p.m., the pro-terrorism forces came back to DC, in the area of the Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials, after their rally at the Pentagon.

The vast majority of veterans from the Gathering of Eagles had long since departed, but some of us were still there. Our group couldn't start the bus ride back to CT until 5 p.m. due to regulations about how long the driver had to be off the road.

Leading the pro-terrorist returnees was a military-style group of about 100 (police agree with this assessment) carrying a Palestine Authority flag, and marching in a manner reminiscent of the Hezbollah style that we often see on the evening news.

They were chanting in a foreign language, that sounded Arabic, but I am no expert here. The chants sounded very much like those you hear in extremist, anti-American, anti-Israel demonstrations.

The group turned toward Constitution Ave., then suddenly veered toward Henry Bacon Drive, and tried to go over the fences that had been erected to keep their demonstration contained there earlier in the day.

Police later said their intent was to break down three rows of fences and overwhelm the few remaining guards at The Wall and then deface it. In addition to their first strike at the fencing, members of the terrorist group also started heaving bottles at the police.

At this point cops from all over converged on the scene (several hundred, not thousands.) As I said, this was witnessed by dozens of veterans.

The terrorists never got past the first row of fencing. The cops were on them in a matter of minutes, and some of their group ran up side streets with the cops hot after them.

A solid row of cruisers and motorcycle police was formed going down Henry Bacon Drive between the returning marchers and The Wall. The police were unbelievably supportive of the vets, and chatted freely with us.

The rank and file welcomed us back any time and said they would a million times rather have us in DC than the so-called anti-war crowd.

At 5 p.m. my group walked two blocks up to 21st and Constitution, boarded our bus and headed home, one of the last contingents to leave. At that point the wall was secure, but have no doubts, an attempt was made on it, and had we not raised such a ruckus through the GOE efforts, it very well may have succeeded.

In an earlier post I quoted a line from the Magnum P.I. television show in which he was asked, after a return trip to Vietnam and all the problems it caused him and his friends, what would have happened if they hadn't gone.

Considering that I am dead tired, physically and emotionally, the end of my driveway is a solid block of frozen snow, sleet and slush that accumulated while I was gone, my family missed our traditional St. Paddy's Day corned beef dinner, which is a BIG deal in this house, the journey itself through snow, sleet, rain and gloom of night was arduous, and we now have to deal with the lying, manipulating media yet again, I'll borrow Tom Selleck's reply in that episode to answer the question, "What if we hadn't joined the Gathering of Eagles to support our troops and protect The Wall?"

We did.

 *************************************************8

An Eagles View of 17 March 07


I am Rev Ernie (Smiling Hawk) Tucker I am a Vietnam veteran and served over twenty-three years as an Airborne Infantryman in the United States Army. I am the Chaplain of the Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. With your permission, I would like to give you this old soldiers view of the event known as "A Gathering of Eagles."
On Saturday, March 17, 2007, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the Gathering of Eagles in Washington, DC. This event provided more healing for the mental pain, frustration, and anger then all the counseling I have gone through for many years.
As I stood there on the stage and looked out at a sea of American flags waving proudly in the cold brisk March winds a long absent sense of pride returned to my spirit. I went down off the stage to find my boots once again in the mud as walked among strangers without fear or trepidation for the first time in almost forty years. Because even though I did not know any of the men and women gathered there, I knew them intimately. They were my Combat Brothers and Sisters. These were the men with whom I had shared the life and death struggle known as "Combat." Many of the women there had been the Nurses that tended my wounds and calmed my fears as I lay in the hospital wondering if I would ever walk again, much less return to my unit and the brave young men I had come to love as my brothers.
Not everyone at the gathering was a Vietnam veteran, although we made up the majority of those there. We had come to stand silent guard over "our memorial." However, there were W.W.II veterans as well as Korean War veterans in attendance also. For me the high light of the day was when a W.W.II veteran got on stage, looked us Vietnam veterans in the eye and said, "Your fathers and grandfathers thank you for your service and sacrifice." Here was a member of "The Greatest Generation the World had ever known" saying "THANK YOU." Thank you to a group of men and women, who for almost forty years, had been neglected, spat upon, and vilified by not only our government, but our countrymen as well. I could not hold the tears back. As I looked around I saw I was not the only Vietnam veteran that his words had touched deeply. There were tears in many of the combat hardened eyes there that day. Those two little words had strengthened our resolve to not only guard our memorial, but theirs as well. We did just that, we stood in silence, a human shield around the three memorials erected to honor the service and sacrifice of Americans of three generations.
The protest organizers and the media "Claim" that their numbers were small because of the winter storm that swept through the North east the evening before the rally. I find it very ironic that this same storm did NOT prevent Eagles from Canada, Maine, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from arriving in DC. I think it is more likely that these no show protesters knew that for the first time they would be facing more then an out numbered police force, and the welcoming arms of the main stream media. They would instead be facing the cold steal eyes of combat hardened veterans and "TRUE PATRIOTIC" Americans. And that is something they did not want to do.
The main stream media, the communist and jihadist backed protesters, and even the leadership (and believe when I say, I'm using the word "Leadership" loosely) think they can ignore the "Gathering of Eagles" consider this. There are SEVENTY-MILLION veterans in the United States of America. Our current President was elected with sixty-million votes. We represent TEN MILLION more people than elected the President. God help the media, the protesters and this nations "leadership" if we ever get on the same sheet of music.
Yes, our numbers were small on March 17th, and even though the media totally ignored the FACT that we out numbered the anitwar/anti America crowd however, this gathering was just the beginning. A ripple that will grow into a tsunami that will sweet the country clean of the left wing America haters, and a media that supports them. It will also clean out that domed building at the other end of the mall of those who vote for "non binding resolutions." Resolutions that do IN FACT give aid and comfort to the enemies of this great nation.
In short, the "SILENT MAJORITY" will be silent NO MORE.
Just one old soldier's view of the Gathering of Eagles.
Rev Ernie (Smiling Hawk) Tucker
Chaplain Aaron A Weaver Chapter 776 MOPH
Scout/Sniper 198th Light Infantry Bdge
Vietnam 68-69
******************************************************
Arrived home from the Gathering of Eagles Sunday around 4:30 PM. almost a 12 hour drive. Veterans did this country proud. We out numbered Sheehans group 3 or 4 to 1. The 30,000 estimate is on the low side. I handed out nearly 300 copies of the www.offe2008.org resolution calling for mandatory funding of Veterans health care.

The differences between the 2 groups was astounding, you won't here about in the lame-stream news. Veterans, thousands of American Flags, protestors, maybe a dozen. Veterans, area policed thrash in proper place, protestors, thrash all over gathering site as well as route to and from the Pentagon. Veterans, USA USA USA, protestors,cut and run, impeach Bush, surrender to Jihad etc etc etc.

The only place you will get coverage of this great event is on the blogs. The lame-stream had all thier cameras covering the protestors. Below is a letter a friend of mine sent to ABC channel 13 in Toledo Ohio. When will the media wake up??

Semper Fi
Rick Townsend
Director, Firebase Network
**********************************************************
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 4:29 PM
Subject: Washington, D.C.

An Unrecognized Majority:

This past Saturday, the anti-war groups Code Pink and ANSWER co-sponsored a protest rally in the form of a march from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to the Pentagon in an attempt to discourage and destabilize the Bush Administration’s public support in order to end the War in Iraq. Calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq, and led by one of our most infamous anti-war activists Cindy Sheehan, the crowd loudly advocated the cut-and-run approach to end the war. The march drew a sizeable chunk of airtime on all major news networks, and brought the issue of immediate withdrawal once again to the front pages of America’s newspapers. Undoubtedly, Americans have seen the media’s coverage of the anti-war protesters in Washington, and most will think that what they saw on CNN or Fox was all there was to be witnessed in Washington that day. However on the same day, on the same National Mall, another group of demonstrators congregated in support of another cause. The Move America Forward Organization, in conjunction with the Gathering of Eagles and Rolling Thunder groups, comprised mainly of veterans, organized themselves into a counter-protest that rivalled the anti-war movement in every aspect. These patriots, conveniently excluded from the media’s coverage of the St. Patrick’s Day protests, convened in support of one sole mission in Washington that day, and that mission was to show their unwavering and unconditional support to the men and women of the United States Military.

The counter-protesters lined the sidewalks of Constitution Avenue, covered the grounds to the west of the Washington Monument and guarded the Vietnam Memorial wall from potentially destructive anti-war demonstrators (who had spray-painted the steps of the Capitol the week before) in a successful attempt at keeping the disruptive crowds from disturbing families visiting the sites dedicated to the memory of those who have honourably served their country. The number of counter-protesters, by the Park Service’s estimates, actually outnumbered those of the anti-war crowd, and the Service estimated that about 30,000 counter-protesters were in attendance during the height of the rallies. One local news network even estimated that the pro-troop crowd outnumbered the antiwar crowd 3 to 1. This estimate is astounding, considering the fact that the anti-war groups had been planning the event for almost a year, publicly promising that 100,000 liberal supporters would show up, while the counter-protesters coordinated their own event in less than two months. Judging by the unexpectedly high turnout of anti-anti-war protesters on St. Patrick’s Day, this nation’s attitude is far from that of a defeated and hopeless losing team. In fact, according to several Vietnam Veterans with the Gathering of Eagles, Cindy Sheehan couldn’t even be heard within her own camp during her keynote speech due to the overwhelmingly loud booing emanating from the thousands-strong Rolling Thunder and Gathering of Eagles veterans. Aside from the realization that this country does not overwhelmingly side itself with the likes of Sheehan, Fonda, Pelosi and Clinton, the scene in Washington last Saturday provided a revealing glimpse into the attitudes and personalities of those on both sides of this issue.

Looking at the ‘camp sites’ of each group, the protesters and counter-protesters, gives a metaphoric description of the true character of each group. On the anti-war side, protesters waved yellow banners calling for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the impeachment of President Bush, and the firing of anyone associated with the war. Protesters waved the flags of Lebanon and Palestine, screamed about America’s unjust occupation of the Middle East, and proclaimed to the nation that the war was unfair and the cause unworthy. No banners could be seen in support of our troops. No signs suggested that they had any faith in the American Government. Some even handed out fliers claiming that the Federal Government had engineered 9/11 to benefit Defence Contractors. The only American flags to be seen on the anti-war side were flown upside down, spray-painted with peace signs or slanderous accusations or thrown to the ground to be stepped on by the self-proclaimed ‘just and righteous’ activists. Some activists even went so far as to burn the flag in a shameful act of anger.

On the other side of the lawn were the pro-troop counter-protesters. To be seen and heard in their camp were patriotic songs and speeches delivered by military men and women and their families. Signs and posters called for unconditional support of the military. Participants held fundraisers to collect donations for troops dispatched overseas. Others posted banners reminding us of the horrific crimes our enemies have committed against us and against others in the past. Veterans told of their own service in Vietnam and a few of them spoke about their time in the Second World War. VFW representatives were in attendance to support today’s troops and to fundraise as well. The crowd, mostly comprised of veterans, waved over 15,000 American flags, with a few state flags and military flags speckling the sea of red, white, and blue. No yellow banners decked the railing of the stage on the pro-troop side. No foreign flags or desecrated American flags flew over the crowd, and each and every veteran made sure that those on the other side of the lawn heard every thing they had to say, and saw everything they had to show. Veterans took shifts in lining the sidewalks surrounding the Vietnam Wall and other memorials to prevent potential defacing of the monuments or disruption of family visitors. The Vets remained calm and peaceful, with the exception of yelling a few jokes at some of the more comical hippie-like folks, who soon became known throughout the pro-troop camp as moonbats. Try googling that term of endearment; I bet you’ll learn something.

At the end of the rallies, after the counter-protesters had packed up their flags and banners to send overseas to our troops in Iraq, and the anti-war group had crossed the bridge toward the Pentagon, the lawn still told a story about those who had occupied it during the demonstrations. On the anti-war side, trash and stomped banners and flags littered the ground in front of President Lincoln’s sacred monument, all left for the D.C. Park Service to clean up. On the opposing side’s half of the lawn not a banner or flag or any trash at all was left lying in the shadow of that tall spire honouring our first Commander-in-Chief, George Washington. The respectful attitudes of those supporting our troops stand in clear contrast to those who so feverishly oppose the war and the Bush Administration.

All in all, the St. Patrick’s Day activities in Washington revealed a few important details that, although minor in appearance, could make the difference in how the country moves forward in the next several years. From the distinct differences in character visible between the pro-troop crowd and the anti-war crowd to the media’s unwillingness to show the nation both sides of the day’s events, it is evident that Americans are not getting the whole story. The notion that some in this nation intentionally degrade those who defend this country during a time of war disturbs most Americans, and most Americans disagree with the insulting manner of the anti-war activists…if only the media would acknowledge that. So what the country needs now, in the minds of those patriots present in Washington on Saturday, is a restoration of our national integrity, and an end to the derogatory smearing aimed at our Government and our Military; and we should all remember that regardless of our political or social views, we should never speak a word that has the potential to dishearten those who dedicate themselves entirely to our country.
*****************************************************************************************************
 
Gathering of Eagles National, Regional, State, and County Coordinator Call
Gathering of Eagles March 17 2007 event in Washington, D.C. has proven Eagles are ready to network for action nation wide.  We don't have a choice.
The anti-America, surrender shrill in the streets and Congress is destroying America........we must prepare to field hundreds of thousands of veterans, spouses, family members and other Americans in single events, or risk losing our nation and the freedom our blood secured...if we don't, no one else will...there is only one choice...we must hit the streets in such massive numbers it will force leadership and attitude changes in America. 
We must pick our battles carefully, but when we do, it must be massive, deliberate, non-violent, without compromise or apology in standing firm for America.
It can be done without a lot of formal organizational stuff that will tie our hands...we need to be free to act and able to contact each other.
A Gathering of Eagles informal national email net is essential and intended as an unofficial, ad hoc effort without bureaucratic entanglements, no dues,  no 501C whatevers, but comprised of individuals with the motivation, drive, commitment, as displayed by Eagles on March 17, 2007. 
This net is not intended to replace or interfere with any organization, existing communications apparatus, but to be used as an alert net that touches people and organizations across America, a vehicle to call for important/critical action in supporting America, our troops, or other actions as deemed appropriate. This net will function in a chain-of-command fashion.
It's not clear who or what mechanism will comprise the informal national coordinator/staff but this does not hinder moving toward Regional and State Coordinators across America. 
As the link below shows (the link is for boundaries only, not an education process), America is divided into five regions.  Thus, we need ten volunteers(five coordinators with five back-up/assistant coordinators) that can devote the time and energy when required, has the expertise to carry out a coordinators function, and assume the responsibility. 
Basic responsibility for Regional Coordinators will be to enlist/identify State coordinators for every State in his/her region;  keep abreast of events, activities within the region ; identify regional action as necessary;  recommend initiatives within a region for national support; be prepared to support other region initiatives; raise funds for regional events; and be prepared to assist national coordinator as requested.
State/back-up/assistant Coordinators will mirror Regional Coordinators responsibility at the State level and develop  a coordinator net within each individual State.
The Mission Statement on www.gatheringofeagles.org will reflect the principles of trust that continue to under-gird Gathering of Eagles activities (rallies, marches, other events) or any other undertaking that may be decided to pursue.
Names, email addresses, phone numbers of all coordinators will be maintained on www.gatheringofeagles.org web site as public information.
Those interested in assuming responsibility for any coordinator function (national, regional, state) should leave egos and personal politics behind, ensure you concur with Gathering of Eagles mission principles,  volunteer and send a short synopsis of why you desire to serve and the background/personal characteristics you have that fits the job.
Send the volunteer information to Harry Riley, hmriley@cox.net
Regional Coordinators will be selected at national, any State volunteer information will be held at national and passed to Regional Coordinators after selection for Regional personal selection process.

The United States is divided into five regions.  These regions are the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and the West.  The states in the five regions are all in the same area of the United States.

There is no pride of ownership in this proposed action, so assume it will be an evolving initiative which the team effort we showed on March 17, 2007 will refine as needed...right now we need commitments and we need them quickly .
Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret
Gathering of Eagles Co-Coordinator

Gathering of Eagles Web Site:  http://gatheringofeagles.org/ 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If America does not confront the Islamic fascist butchers, who will?
******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Eagles Talons enough to win the day...........and the future

Mission Accomplished, Goals and Objectives satisfied..........that's the result of Americans gathering in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2007 to proclaim pride in America, support and love for our warriors in harms way, and protection of the hallowed ground of our fallen guardians of freedom. 

Emails, pictures, proclamations, high-five's, a renewed spirit and hope in America is flying across the Internet, blogs, and media from around the world......Eagles (Americans, Vets young and old, active duty warriors, Moms, Dads,  sisters, brothers, college and high school students, cadets) landed in Washington, D.C. on St. Patrick's Day in massive numbers, announcing to the anti-war/anti-America hate spewing surrender crowd:  get used to it, count on it, accept it, and live with.............EAGLES ARE YOUR FUTURE.

According to estimate reports from the National Park Service, 30,000 Eagles soared into Washington, D.C. on St. Patrick's day to confront and drive the annoying anti-war/ANSWER pests back to their dark hide-outs of deception, distortion, lies, denigration, betrayal, treason, and surrender.  

When the Eagle flies and the talons are bared, the vermin scatter, run for cover as did Jane Fonda and others who failed to return to the vomit of her decades old attempt to destroy America.......the anti-war 40 year reunion was akin to a funeral march as compared to the loud birthing joy of Eagles... 

Eagles dominated the day while the national media, addicted to the ANSWER anti-war/anti-America rhetoric, bought their distorted message, focused on a few thousand misguided, aimless,  American flag dragging, spitting young people, and communist, anti-troop, anti-America speakers while all but ignoring the tens of thousands of Eagles.  

If media takes a look at film they will see two drastically different pictures when looking at the anti-war crowd and Gathering of Eagles participants.....one crowd with thousands of proud American flags, the other showed a half dozen and some of them were being dragged on the ground; one crowd with unity, brother and sisterhood, patriotic fervor, the other crowd with aimless direction, vile venom of hate for America...the contrast is clear...which view do you support America? 

To say the Gathering of Eagles event in Washington, D.C. was a success would be an understatement....the massive numbers of Eagles is but an indicator of the commitment of American hearts to our nation, our troops, and the fallen warriors that have sacrificed for our freedom.  To have been present and experience the joy, and yes pain, the relief, the  emotional roller-coaster was beyond explanation...the Gold Star Mothers, the Blue Star Moms and Dads, the Veterans in wheel chairs, tears, hugs,...........in short the anti-war movement set up a reunion for Vietnam Veterans, their widows, spouses, sons and daughters.......... 

The message of the day was "Welcome Home", "Never Again",  "Win the War On Terror" from old warriors, young patriots, widows, spouses, and other Americans who found themselves back in the mud, but loving, cherishing, every bit of it.  All willing to sacrifice once again for whatever it takes..............to keep America the land of the free and home of the brave. 

God bless America, our troops, their families and all the Eagles in body and spirit.

Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret, Gathering of Eagles Co-Coordinator

URL:  http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/riley032007.htm

Statement of Support from Appeal For Courage

Statement of Support from Appeal For Courage

40 years ago, a debate was raging much the same as the one today. A small but vocal group opposed to the war in Vietnam managed to convince the public that the war was unwinnable, that the cause was immoral, and that our troops were murderers. They shouted loud enough and long enough to force our politicians to concede and we pulled out of Vietnam too soon. A generation of Vietnam Veterans came home to a country that had forgotten the debt of gratitude that is owed to those who defend freedom. A country that had forgotten how to welcome home its veterans with open arms.

Now, another small but vocal group is trying to convince America that the war in Iraq is already lost, that the cause of freedom is not worth the fight, and that our troops are committing atrocities on a daily basis. But now, there is a difference. There are men and women at home who refuse to let history repeat itself. That same generation of Vietnam Veterans are standing up to ensure that all veterans are treated with the respect they have earned. They are drawing the line at those who say that desecrating our war memorials is an expression of free speech. And they are supporting our troops with their actions and not just their words.

Today over 1700 men and women in uniform have signed an Appeal to ask Congress to support our mission and let us stay in Iraq until the mission is complete. We are asking to stay in harm's way because we know the importance of what we are doing, and the consequences of failure.

As we fight the battle in Iraq, you have continued to fight the battle at home. As we stand up for freedom and democracy overseas, you are standing guard for freedom and democracy at home. In Iraq today, as it was in Vietnam 40 years ago, we can not lose on the field of battle. You are ensuring that we do not lose it at home. Thank you for your continuing service, and together we will continue the fight for freedom.

SGT Dave Thul
LT Jason Nichols
AppealForCourage.org

An E-Mail to Col Riley
From: Removed
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Gathering of Eagles1 -- A Historical Reunion

Harry,
this has succeeded beyond our wildest hopes, never dreaming that we would be sooooooooo greatly empowered by our AMERICAN ETHOS....
You know Harry, I have had a hell of a week, buried one son, said goodbye to another son at the airport as he left for Bagdad, and immediately attended the funeral of a friend's late husband.   I would PERSONALLY like to thank ALL 30,000 of those really FANTASTIC EAGLES who have lifted me up this week and kept me going.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU,
Evie
Power to the People
I could tell right away this wasn't going to be your average Washington D.C. anti-war protest.

For months, the anti-war coalition International A.N.S.W.E.R. had been publicizing its plans to hold a major anti-war rally in the nation's capital on Saturday, March 17. However, reaching the protest staging site next to the Lincoln Memorial at 11:00 -- an hour before the protestors were slated to begin marching to the Pentagon -- I found the field nearly empty. Across the street stood several thousand counter-demonstrators, mostly comprised of Vietnam War veterans associated with various biker clubs. Wearing leather jackets emblazoned with organization names like "Rolling Thunder," "Legacy Vets," and "Combat Veterans of America Motorcycle Club," the vets had turned out to stand guard at the Vietnam Wall and other monuments after some sites were desecrated at an anti-war rally in January. The vets were a grizzled, tough-looking lot, and their presence seemed to surprise the handful of Chinese tourists snapping photos in the area.

Across the street, the war protestors were arriving late with their usual collection of Che Guevara banners, placards decrying American imperialism, and bizarre signs denouncing the 9/11 attacks as a government-orchestrated conspiracy. Some tables were set up offering books and pamphlets advocating socialism while a few enterprising capitalists worked the crowd, briskly selling T-shirts commemorating the march. As they arrived, the protestors were entertained by a DJ who, we were informed over the loudspeakers, was from Puerto Rico -- "the first country invaded by the U.S." He played the Edwin Starr protest classic "War (What is it good for?)" several dozen times, it seemed, then launched into James Brown's "I'm Black and I'm Proud," as the mostly white crowd sang along.
Eventually, around 15,000 protestors arrived -- appearing to me about the same number as attended the January anti-war rally..This must have been a severe disappointment to A.N.S.W.E.R., which had drawn upwards of 100,000 people to previous protests. The poor turnout at this year's rallies can largely be attributed to a schism between A.N.S.W.E.R. and the other main anti-war coalition, United for Peace and Justice. The two groups used to sponsor these rallies together, but have recently ceased cooperating.

Their dispute stems from two factors. First, there was some squabbling over the amount of time given to each group's speakers at past rallies -- a surprising bit of selfishness from people who drive cars with bumper stickers proclaiming that everything they need to know they learned in kindergarten. Second, there was a disagreement over the Israel-Palestine issue. Apparently, A.N.S.W.E.R.'s position is that the Jews should be driven into the sea, while UPJ, being slightly more moderate, seeks to convince the Jews through peaceful dialogue to throw themselves in.

Before setting off for the Pentagon, the war protestors were addressed by a few speakers. The veterans watched quietly from just across the street until Cindy Sheehan was introduced. Even before she denounced President Bush as "the greatest terrorist in the world," the mention of Sheehan's name elicited from the vets a rigorous round of booing the likes of which is rarely heard outside the confines of a Philadelphia Eagles home game.

Finally, the march began. It was a motley collection of organizations and interest groups. The parade was led by a collection of anti-war military veterans, followed by the radical feminists of Code Pink. Then came a group of "drummers" who were really just banging sticks on the bottom of some empty pails, succeeded by the mandatory contingent of masked anarchists. Further back were lots of hippie-throwbacks, a good number of college students, some refugee from an anarchist rodeo twirling a lasso around himself, and a variety of people waving Lebanese and Palestinian flags. There were a few American flags as well, although nearly all of these were defaced with peace signs, political slogans, or sardonic renditions of corporate symbols.

The counter-demonstrators lined the first few hundred yards of the parade route, sometimes on both sides. Waving American flags, the vets gave the marchers a generally good heckling; "Go impress your professors!" was my favorite epithet. Despite their fetish for the right to "dissent," the war protestors are unaccustomed to opposition, aside perhaps from a lone College Republican or two that might show up with an American flag at a campus protest. But these counter-demonstrators were different. They were combat veterans who still bristle at the memory of being jeered by these kinds of radicals when they returned from Vietnam. The marchers seemed not only nervous, but even ashamed -- to prove their patriotism to the vets, they began chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" This was probably the first time that chant has ever been heard at an anti-war rally.

I fell in with the anarchists, since that's where the action usually is. There were around 100 of them, although the number of face piercings exceeded that by a factor of 10, even with most of their nose rings and tongue rings hidden by masks and bandanas. Their banners proclaimed slogans like "Destroy all government" and "No war but class war." The vets yelled out to them "Come over here!" and "Show your faces!" Declining either invitation, the anarchists responded by chanting "Whose streets? Our streets!"

But the chant lacked conviction, seeing as the only thing protecting the anarchists from a smackdown by the vets was the line of police officers separating the two sides. I spotted a group of four anarchists carrying an upside down American flag and wondered how far they'd get with it. It turned out to be about 50 yards. Then, a vet managed to infiltrate the parade and snatched the flag from them, causing all four members of the revolutionary vanguard to run scurrying away.

After parading through this gauntlet of counter-protestors, the rest of the march was pretty subdued. I walked back toward a portable loudspeaker surrounded by Palestinian flags. A speaker was leading a chant of "Stop bombing Lebanon!", which I found strange, since no one is bombing Lebanon. The chanting stopped when the microphone was passed to a Middle Eastern woman whose accent was so thick that no one could understand what they were supposed to be protesting. Finally, they agreed on singing another refrain of "War," which seemed to be their automatic fallback position for almost any unexpected situation.

We arrived at the Pentagon parking lot, where a DJ was again playing "War." I couldn't take the song anymore, so I wandered off in search of the anarchists. I found them at the end of a bridge leading to the Pentagon itself. They were facing a line of police officers in full riot gear, replete with gas masks. "Whose streets? Our streets!" rang out again, but it was pretty clear whose streets these were, since the anarchists weren't allowed to keep marching forward on them.

The police announced through a bullhorn that they'd use teargas if the protestors didn't return to the parking lot. In response, a female-looking anarchist in dreadlocks yelled out to me and some other reporters nearby, asking if we'd help get the word out that the police, without cause, had gassed peaceful protestors. "No!" I instinctively yelled back, eliciting some shocked stares from the anarchists. Another anarchist approached us and asked if we'd stand between them and the police to prevent the cops from "attacking" them. He pointed to one elderly female reporter: "You ma'am, if you get in the middle, there's no way the police will knock you over." The request caught me off guard -- I was unaware that old women are used as human shields anywhere outside of the Middle East.

The group sat down in front of the police to decide what to do. Some people passed out food, at which point most of the anarchists removed their masks and bandanas to eat, then put them back on when they had finished. My respect for this bunch was rapidly declining.

They took a series of votes, decided to leave the bridge to the police, and backed off about 20 yards. Then, in one final act of "resistance" before vacating the bridge, one of them burned an American flag, to the cheers of all the rest. This incident went unreported in all of the mainstream media, despite the presence on the bridge of numerous journalists and photographers.

Walking home, I reflected on what the anti-war movement has degenerated into -- a squabbling collection of aging socialists, pro-Palestinian militants, and cowardly anarchists. The Vietnam vets -- who were there just to protect our monuments and show support for the troops -- had a surprising effect on the protestors. "Fight back! Fight back!" was one of the protestors' slogans. But it was all talk. When confronted by people who actually fought and bled for their country, the protestors grew sheepish and embarrassed -- I would even say humiliated.

I couldn't help but notice that the anarchists -- the supposed hardcore fringe of the movement -- waited until they were safely out of range of the veterans to burn a flag. Afraid of the vets, afraid of the cops, they don't seem to be good for much other than occasionally smashing storefront windows when there's no one else around.

"Whose streets? Our streets!", they chanted. Not on Saturday they weren't.

Anti-War Protest Had Opposition

By The Intelligencer

A highly promoted protest against U.S. involvement in Iraq during the weekend received an enormous amount of media coverage, despite the fact that, according to the Associated Press, only about 1,000 people remained present for it after the first hour.

But that wasn’t the only protest in Washington on Saturday. Also present in substantial numbers were Americans unwilling to allow members of the military to be slandered by the more radical elements in the anti-war movement. They received less coverage.

Among them were members of groups such as Gathering of Eagles and Move America Forward. Many of the members of those groups are U.S. military veterans -- and members of the families of American troops serving abroad.

They gathered at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where they vowed to prevent any attempts by the anti-war crowd to commit acts of disrespect.

Many of those in the anti-war movement say they are protesting the war out of respect for our troops. But, too often, protests such as that in Washington are hijacked by those who have nothing but contempt for those who serve. We think it is important for those in uniform to know that the weekend protests were far from one-sided.

URL:  http://www.theintelligencer.net/editorials/articles.asp?articleID=17463

 
Silent America Speaks
Gary L. Bauer, Chairman
Campaign for Working Families
March 19, 2007
Things didn't go as planned for the far Left this weekend here in the nation's capital.  An assortment of "blame America first" groups expected tens of thousands of leftists to take to the streets to demand that the U.S. withdraw from Iraq in defeat.  March organizers had originally expected 50,000 plus to flood into town, but most unofficial estimates put the crowd closer to 10,000 to 15,000.
But wait, it gets better!  The defeatists and their allies didn't have the streets to themselves.  Thousands of pro-troop, pro-victory, pro-American counter-demonstrators came from all over the country to take a stand. The big TV networks ignored what happened, but the liberal Washington Post could not without losing all credibility.
On the front page they reported, "Thousands of demonstrators. marched on the Pentagon yesterday, jeered along the way by large numbers of angry counter-protesters." And this: "Much of the passion yesterday was supplied by thousands of counter-demonstrators, many of them veterans who mobilized from across the country to gather around the Vietnam veteran's memorial."
As the so-called anti-war crowd crossed the Memorial Bridge into Virginia toward Arlington Cemetery, they were again confronted by a large crowd of vets who unfurled a banner reading, "You dishonor our dead on hallowed ground."
Now there is always a handful of conservatives who show up when the far Left is in the streets; but what explains the tremendous turnout of "the silent majority" now? There is a lot of evidence that this was, at least in part, a reaction to what happened here back in January when left-wing radicals protesting the war spray-painted the Capitol steps, trashed an Army recruiting office and put a pink tiara on the Statue of the Lone Sailor at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Big Media ignored the vandalism, but conservative talk radio and Internet bloggers, along with reports like this one, spread the disgusting news far and wide.  The reaction was clear on Saturday as thousands of fed-up citizens poured into town to protect our monuments and make it clear that the loud mouth Left doesn't own the streets.
Could this be the start of something bigger?  Perhaps.  Millions of Americans are fed-up and looking for political leadership.  They are tired of our country constantly being trashed, our values being mocked and our border leaking like a sieve.  They have had it with political correctness, and they want someone, without shame or embarrassment, to defend what we know to be decent, right, patriotic, and dare I say it - moral.  We will do our best to keep the momentum growing!
 
National Park Service Volunteers Say Thanks
Dear Veterans, Family and Friends,
We won.  I am so proud of our Veterans, Active Duty Forces and Supporters, for their restraint, demeanor, and patience in the face of the goofs who showed up to demonstrate on Saturday.
My observations will be short.  You were trickling in at 0700 that morning when I arrived, gathering in full force all day long in the cold and windy weather, and were still there at 1900 when I left.
You came to stand down at the Wall with we Volunteers in quiet dignity, but on guard.
The adversaries were across Henry Bacon Drive aiming their blaring loudspeakers our way, playing inappropriate rock, latin and hiphop music over our Memorials and I'm sure it was wafting across the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetery.
We were also supplemented by the Park Police and the Washington Metro Police.
The Gathering of Eagles were posted on a very windy knoll at the East End of the Wall, where they had surrounded themselves with hundreds of American flags flying briskly in the breeze.  No loud music, no complaining about the environment.  Just there to defend the Wall.
I am so very grateful for your presence and please remember that we National Park Service Volunteers - the 'yellow hats' - take it very seriously to ensure that respect and honor are most present at your sanctuary.
I'm pleased to serve you.
Best wishes,
Betty
 
Pro America rally was more powerful
I sang my original anthem, "United We Stand" at the Gathering of Eagles rally in Washington DC at the Viet Nam vet's Wall Memorial. I am black conservative republican singer songwriter and entertainer, Lloyd Marcus.
A smaller anti- America rally received all of the mainstream media coverage. The mood and tone of the two rallies were strikingly different. So-called, 'peace activists' waved signs and screamed slogans full of obscenity and hate.
Our pro-America rally over flowed with feelings of respect, unity and love. Viet Nam vets embraced and exchanged the words, 'welcome home brother'. People spoke with pride of fathers and sons who've made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. Yes, there were tears. Perhaps by divine intervention the CD player would not play the soundtrack for my finale song, "United We Stand". Prompted by the united and supportive crowd, I performed it a capella. The inspired rendition is playing around the world over the internet. Though neglected by the media, the goodness of our rally will resonate like a tsunami of love and support for our troops and America around the world.
 
Arch Arthur GoE After Action Report
Contributed by Bill Faith
Compiled from two back-to-back emails from Arch:
Saturday was a cold, clear, fine day without much wind.  I took the Metro to Foggy Bottom, just up the hill from where the protesters were gathering.  A female protester asked me where to get off for the rally.  I told her, "Reagan National".  These people were a mix of long haired white, black & Latino activists wearing berets and impeach Bush t-shirts.  A few were carrying homemade signs but most took up signs at the rally point.  They were unattractive and ill-informed, but not physically threatening.  I had a short haircut and dressed in black combat boots, black chinos, a black fleece jacket, black windbreaker and black gloves.  I wanted to make it obvious that I was not a protester.
The anti-war protest rally was sponsored by ANSWER - a communist & socialist group bent on humiliating America.  They are well funded by George Soros, who chartered busses, printed signs, and paid the hotel bills for their people.  Looking at their signs and listening to their speeches, they were a wide range of very radical groups - open borders, communist party, black panthers, greenpeace, recognize cuba.  You name the left wing group, they were there.
GoE was not well organized and had zero funding.   At first, I was a little worried about our chances if the numbers that were being advertised were accurate.  ANSWER was touting 100,000 protesters and GoE had only signed up 900.  I had no idea how many Rolling Thunder guys, VFW members, American Legionnaires,  of Purple Heart guys would actually show up.  Fortunately, all the estimates were wrong.  The Park Police had UH-60s overhead with cameras to document their estimate of 30,000 Pro American Demonstrators and 5,000 -10,000 ANSWER protesters.  Several times the speakers said that many of their folks were stuck in the snow storm in the North East.  We laughed at them. 
The ANSWER crowd was intimidated big time.  For the last 40 years the radical left has had the streets to themselves.  Their opposition was an undermanned police force or a few National Guardsmen with strict ROE.  They always had numerical superiority.  We in the military were prohibited, by law, from participating in a counter protest.  This demonstration was very different.
As I was walking down the hill from Foggy Bottom, a GoE guy ahead of me took a Stop The War sign tore it in half and threw it in the trash.  There were about 1,000 protesters watching him and one guy said, "hey, you can't do that!"   The GoE guy stopped and asked, "What are you going to do about it?"  The question was met with silence. 
In another incident, five of the unwashed made it around the Lincoln Memorial.  They were spotted almost immediately.  Three of these brave souls dropped their signs and ran away, but two continued.  The were rather quickly surrounded by big Rolling Thunder guys in their leathers.  The bikers stared at the remaining two, who quickly put down their signs, avoided making eye contact and left.  No one raised their voice or touched these young men.  The thing young men fear most is intimidation in front of their friends, especially girlfriends.  Intimidated they were.
On the ground, there was considerable Pro-American verbal push back.  The protesters had the amplified sound system, but GoE had the balls.  As the leftist speakers ranted, we cheered "USA, USA, USA..".  When they said something we disagreed with, we shouted them down.  It was good clean fun.
On the ground, it was obvious who had more people.  We occupied the wall, the north side of the Lincoln Memorial, the apron west side of the reflecting pond, and the Korean War Memorial.  They had a strip of land between 23rd and Constitution Ave.  The mounted police kept the groups apart.
These were big guys, the ones who did not run to Canada or Oxford to avoid serving their country.  The elite leftists are not accustomed to real opposition.
When I left, I walked down the mall to the Washington Monument to the Smithsonian Museum and I could no longer hear the shrill loudspeakers of the ANSWER sound system, but I could clearly hear Gathering of Eagles' voices.
We must continue this real grass roots effort.  Wherever these idiots go, we must go.  ANSWER cannot go unanswered.
*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************
 
COL Harry Riley
Mission Accomplished, Goals and Objectives satisfied..........that's the result of Americans gathering in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2007 to proclaim pride in America, support and love for our warriors in harms way, and protection of the hallowed ground of our fallen guardians of freedom.
Emails, pictures, proclamations, high-five's, a renewed spirit and hope in America is flying across the Internet, blogs, and media from around the world......Eagles (Americans, Vets young and old, active duty warriors, Moms, Dads,  sisters, brothers, college and high school students, cadets) landed in Washington, D.C. on St. Patrick's Day in massive numbers, announcing to the anti-war/anti-America hate spewing surrender crowd:  get used to it, count on it, accept it, and live with.............EAGLES ARE YOUR FUTURE.
According to estimate reports from the National Park Service, 30,000 Eagles soared into Washington, D.C. on St. Patrick's day to confront and drive the annoying anti-war/ANSWER pests back to their dark hide-outs of deception, distortion, lies, denigration, betrayal, treason, and surrender. 
When the Eagle flies and the talons are bared, the vermin scatter, run for cover as did Jane Fonda and others who failed to return to the vomit of her decades old attempt to destroy America.......the anti-war 40 year reunion was akin to a funeral march as compared to the loud birthing joy of Eagles...
Eagles dominated the day while the national media, addicted to the ANSWER anti-war/anti-America rhetoric, bought their distorted message, focused on a few thousand misguided, aimless,  American flag dragging, spitting young people, and communist, anti-troop, anti-America speakers while all but ignoring the tens of thousands of Eagles. 
If media takes a look at film they will see two drastically different pictures when looking at the anti-war crowd and Gathering of Eagles participants.....one crowd with thousands of proud American flags, the other showed a half dozen and some of them were being dragged on the ground; one crowd with unity, brother and sisterhood, patriotic fervor, the other crowd with aimless direction, vile venom of hate for America...the contrast is clear...which view do you support America?
To say the Gathering of Eagles event in Washington, D.C. was a success would be an understatement....the massive numbers of Eagles is but an indicator of the commitment of American hearts to our nation, our troops, and the fallen warriors that have sacrificed for our freedom.  To have been present and experience the joy, and yes pain, the relief, the  emotional roller-coaster was beyond explanation...the Gold Star Mothers, the Blue Star Moms and Dads, the Veterans in wheel chairs, tears, hugs,...........in short the anti-war movement set up a reunion for Vietnam Veterans, their widows, spouses, sons and daughters..........
The message of the day was "Welcome Home", "Never Again",  "Win the War On Terror" from old warriors, young patriots, widows, spouses, and other Americans who found themselves back in the mud but loving, cherishing, every bit of it, and willing to sacrifice once again for whatever it takes..............to keep America the land of the free and home of the brave.
God bless America, our troops, their families and all Eagles in body and spirit.
Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret
111 Overview Drive
Crestview, FL 32539
850-689-1818
Gathering of Eagles Co-Coordinator
************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
The Gathering Of Eagles - Report

Veterans, Others Denounce Marchers

Counter-Demonstrators Number in Thousands

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/17/AR2007031701280.html

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