Restoring Honor attendees (Photo courtesy of Tim Hester and Karla Kuykendall Hester)
WASHINGTON – Hundreds of thousands of Americans – of many creeds and colors – made what ended up being a pilgrimage of sorts to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally.
Catholics, other Christians and Jews spoke to WND on site, many celebrating the themes of faith and reliance on God proclaimed from the platform.
As WND reported, Beck proclaimed the purpose of the rally, saying, “It has nothing to do with politics; it has everything to do with God.”
Beck, the Fox News TV host and a professed Mormon, urged his fellow Americans to live according to the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity. He asked everyone to enter into 40 days of deep prayer, an obvious plea to imitate Jesus Christ’s 40 days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness.
Beck also preached the Christian philosophy that the common good starts with individuals, and therefore, he said, Americans need to begin by examining their souls.
Paul and Jeff Strange, father and son, came from Bloomington, Ill., with their friend Tom Morgan. Just prior to the formal presentations, Jeff Strange spoke presciently:
“I came here to try and improve myself as an individual, because I think we need to restore our character in this country,” he said. “We need to restore the character of our leaders, and we need to start electing virtuous leaders.
“We’re in big trouble, and it’s time to do something about it,” said Strange. “We came out here to be with thousands of other people to take a stand, to change ourselves and our country.”
Different faiths, different colors
Day Gardner (left) and Alveda King at Restoring Honor rally
The crowd itself included veterans, parents, disabled Americans, people of all ages and – contrary to some criticism leveled against the rally – attendees of many races and ethnicities.
Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union based in Washington, D.C., for example, stood on the platform with Alveda King as she recalled her uncle Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech.
Before the multitudes assembled Alveda King proclaimed, “If Uncle Martin could be here today … he would surely remind us that as brothers and sisters, united by one blood in one single race, the human race, we are called to honor God and to love each other.”
Praising the entire rally, Gardner exclaimed, “It was phenomenal!
“It felt great to be up there with all these wonderful leaders, the black pro-life leaders from all over the country,” Gardner said. “I was extremely proud of my sister in Christ and my dear friend, Dr. Alveda King. … Seeing her walk out where her uncle and her father were 47 years ago – my eyes welled up, and I had a lump in my throat, because we have come a really long way.”
Ron Miller enjoyed the rally with friends from his home state of Maryland.
“I’ve attended and spoken at several tea party rallies, but Glenn Beck’s rally exceeded my expectations,” observed Miller. “The others were like pep rallies to fire up the team before it takes the field. Restoring Honor was a revival, calling us to honor those men and women who gave everything they had, including their lives, to defend us. Beck got it right when he asked us to get down on our knees and repent to God for the salvation of our nation.”
Miller, a black Christian and author of “Sellout: Musings from Uncle Tom’s Porch,” told WND he’s been outraged by claims reported in the media that the tea parties are racist and that Beck’s rally was somehow a slap against Martin Luther King Jr.
“Those naysayers who compare us to the Ku Klux Klan are despicable,” Miller said. “By making such a ludicrous comparison, they have revealed themselves to be morally bankrupt, so they no longer warrant a hearing from Americans of good will.
Abraham Lincoln impersonator Gerald Bestrom from Hastings, Mich., at Restoring Honor rally
“Americans of many races were given prominence on stage for the world to see,” Miller continued. “I was moved to tears by Dave Roever’s heartfelt prayer at the end. What a beautiful sacrifice he made, and what a tower of grace he is to stand before us today as a testimony to perseverance, courage and love.”
Roever, whom Beck introduced by recounting the Navy veteran’s inspiring recovery from a disfiguring injury in Vietnam, led a prayer for the nation. Afterward, he spoke to WND about the enormous gathering.
“I think it’s made about 90 percent of the politicians in this city very nervous,” Roever said. “Some of them are tremblin’ in their offices right now because this is a statement – not only to D.C., but to the whole country – that we’re not going to be satisfied with the status quo.”
Roever said he wants all politicians – from the president to lawmakers to activist judges – to know that many people are fed up like him:
“There is so much corruption, back scratchin,’ deals made,” he stressed. “The No. 1 issue bothering me is that they know their time is short, so they ramrod anything through Congress, and it’s more difficult to repeal a law than it is to get that law made.
“They’re hoping their agenda will survive, but I don’t think it will,” said Roever. “I’ve never seen my country like this. I didn’t go to Vietnam and get my face blown off, my fingers blown off, my body damaged and wounded beyond repair for what this government’s doing right now.”