What I learned at the Rally (from ASUSue)

Posted September 3rd, 2010 by Jim Ettwein

August 31, 2010

What I learned at the Rally

Let me start by assuring family members reading this that, despite what I am going to write here, I am not going to be standing on street corners, proselytizing or ditch everything and take off to some far off place to preach to the heathens. And yes, I know, Beck is an entertainer. That being said, the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor Rally on 8/28 was one of the most amazing events I have ever attended, if not THE most amazing. Beck has been saying, “Come as you are and leave stronger”. I believe I did.

If I want to use a string of words to describe the event, I guess I would start with inspiring, apolitical, uplifting, hopeful, and empowering. It was all about American ideals and values. The huge crowd of at least 500,000 was energized, happy and friendly. I personally saw and heard so many stories of people sharing their help, blankets, food and water with others that they are way too numerous to relate.

Over the course of five hours on Friday and all day Saturday I met people from at least 12 to 15 different states. Every single person I met, without exception, was so open, friendly and warm that I felt I had made hundreds of new friends. No negativity at all. In no way could it be described as racist or about hate. While the main stream media is trying to make this about politics and race, nothing could be farther from the truth. The crowd was mostly white but there were plenty of black people there, as well. Many people on stage who spoke or performed were also black. Al Sharpton said that Beck was hijacking and distorting Martin Luther King’s message. Not at all. In fact, I believe Dr. King would find nothing to object to in the speeches last Saturday. It was my belief that Dr. King’s aim was equality of opportunity for all people and that people should be judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin. I thought civil rights was supposed to be about a color blind society. I don’t believe that Dr. King ever intended it to be about one group of people getting free stuff from another group of people in perpetuity or one group of people abandoning the idea of personal responsibility. He was not violent. He was dedicated but determined. He was also a preacher.

Beck’s main premise is that, once God was pushed out of the public square, things began to go wrong. Thomas Jefferson said that the people would keep this government so long as they remained moral.

Over the years as I have become more interested in American history and started reading more about it I have come to truly believe that this country was founded and continued, in part, through Divine Providence. There are so many history stories of things that happened that one would deem impossible, yet they happened when we were in the worst need. One example I can think of is the concealing fog that rolled in just in time to allow the trapped Colonial troops in New York to retreat from the advancing British forces. Beck is saying that we, as a people, and as individuals, need to get behind God and He will be our shield as we fight (figuratively) for our country. It is up to each person to be honorable. Some may protest that they are only one person and what can one person do. Let us remember that, in the beginning, the Founders and citizen patriots were only ordinary people, too. But they knew what was right and were willing to stand up for what was right. And they spoke boldly about what they knew to be right.

At the rally, three citizens received Medals of Merit for Faith, Hope and Charity. These medals were based on the original design and intent of George Washington. They were the forerunners to the Purple Heart. Three servicemen also received awards. Their stories were to illustrate that individuals, acting honorably, can achieve great things. They are real heroes whom we and our children can admire and look up to.

I am and will continue to be, heavily involved in the Lowell Tea Party. I have been thinking about the difference between Tea Party Rallies and the Restoring Honor rally. The Tea Party Rallies are definitely political and seem more narrowly issue focused. They also project, sometimes, an angry mood. The Beck rally was more an exhortation to people to be the catalyst for the change to RESTORE, not TRANSFORM, us back to the original precepts of the Founders.

In any case, I have spent most of the last two days thinking about what I heard and saw and examining my part in it. I realized that, for a long time, I have been angry, frustrated, and even scared about what I see happening to this country. And I was at the point of hopelessness. When I looked out at the crowd on Saturday there were hundreds of thousands of people as far as I could see, who had made sacrifices in time and money to get to this place. Those people did not do this on a whim or because they had nothing better to do that Saturday. They made those sacrifices for the same reasons I did. They all felt the same as I did- scared, frustrated and angry and they didn’t know what to do about it. As I looked out at the crowd I realized something. I am not alone. To borrow a phrase- together we can. I realized that the people on the mall are stronger than the people in that domed building and stronger than the people in that white house. I left D.C. more hopeful and quietly determined. No longer will I shush Dad when he makes politically incorrect remarks in restaurants. I will be honest, even with myself. Even when it is hard. I will continue to call my legislators, work for candidates that I have found to be worthy of my trust, put up yard signs, make phone calls and complain about the scoundrels. But I will not waste my energy being scared or frustrated. I will continue as I have, in response to a challenge forty plus days ago, to get back down on my knees and pray. I urge everyone to pray every day for this country, its military and its leaders (Perhaps some of them will have an epiphany!) and for guidance on how to help.

In closing, remember that the United States did not just materialize over night or even in a few years. The seeds that sparked the Revolution and inspired ordinary men and women to action developed over many years. I believe we are seeing those sparks again. I hope we can restore our country without bloodshed. But I now truly feel that, with ordinary patriots linking arms and standing together for what we know is right, this country will be fine.

And that’s what I saw at the rally!

4 Responses to “What I learned at the Rally (from ASUSue)”

  1. UofA Mike

    Well told! And beautifully!

  2. Tom Gilroy


    You are our messenger of truth. Thank you for your elloquent prose.

  3. Prim


    Wonderfully written and inspirational. Thank you so much.
    Blessings to you & yours

  4. George Peterson

    I am not alone. Thank you for your message of hope. When I try to discuss this with my neighbors, they shun me. In 1966 I did what was asked of me by my country. In 1968 I was shunned upon my return. What I ask now is that MY country return to the values that it was founded on. The freedom to be governed by the principals set forth by the values of our founders. The rewards of service to your country or your fellow man is not power over them or the plunder you obtain. If your country can ask you to die to protect the values this country was founded on, then you can also expect those who will represent you to also secure those rights for you. God bless America, land that I love.
    If you can finish this from your heart and soul, thank you from those who made the full sacrifice. Those who went, brought it home, and can’t believe where we are now.