How many times have you sat in front of the television over the last four years, watching anti-war activists march on Washington, chase the ROTC off your local college campus, vandalize war memorials, insult the troops and wreak havoc under the surrender banner?
How many times have you thought to yourself: What can I do?
Here is the answer: Get off the sofa and join the Gathering of Eagles on March 17 in Washington, D.C. On that day, well-funded, celebrity-studded anti-war groups plan to march to the Pentagon on a protest route that will take them past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and climax in calls for immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, destruction of America’s “global military machine,” shutdown of the enemy combatant detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay and impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney (plus an end to “colonial occupation” in “Palestine, Haiti and everywhere” for good measure).
Last time the left-wing, peace-loving fun bunch came to town, their minions gone wild threw rocks at a military recruitment office in D.C’s Dupont Circle neighborhood and at a local Fox News van, broke through a Capitol Hill police security cordon, spray painted the Capitol grounds with impunity, desecrated the Lone Sailor statue that stands watch at the U.S. Navy Memorial and reportedly spat at disabled Iraq war veteran Josh Sparling as he voiced his support for his fellow troops.
There were tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators at that event last month. You know how many showed up with Sparling to counter the far left? Forty.
Now, imagine our troops getting word of that count. They’re walking the talk, committed to the long, hard mission of counterinsurgency in Iraq and abroad, risking life and limb – and only 40 of their fellow Americans bothered to represent them in the nation’s capital?
The Gathering of Eagles, an impromptu coalition of veterans’ groups, pro-military organizations and Internet activists, wants to right the wrong. “We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds,” they explain. “We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.”
What the Eagles will not stand for, however, are “violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.”
Sgt. Artie Muller, founder of Rolling Thunder, the POW/MIA advocacy group, has called on his 80-plus chartered chapters to turn out. Move America Forward, the grass-roots, nonprofit, pro-military charity, is launching a caravan from California March 8 to join the Eagles and will bring flags from across the country for the event. The Nam Knights will be there, too. Bill Devereaux, a member of the South Jersey Viet Nam Vets Association, wrote to tell me he had “appropriated a bus on which 40 of our members will be attending the event.”
Daniel McPeters, an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, e-mailed that “at least a dozen of my brothers will be attending this vigil of necessity and representing those not able to be present. This has needed to happen for 30-plus years. Anyone that supports our troops and their cause should try to make it out, or contact their local veterans post and spread the word. The silent ones need not be silent anymore.”
Cindy Sheehan has responded to the Eagles by deriding them on the Gold Star Families for Peace website as “Rightest [sic] America Haters” who are “brainwashed and propagandized.”
The question isn’t, “What can I do to respond to the Sheehanistas?” The question now is, “What will you do?”
Get off the darned sofa and show your support. March 17. Washington, D.C. Find out more at the Gathering of Eagles website.
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