We were honored to be with 500,000 to a million patriots in the United States of America on Aug. 28 at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, D.C. Beck's theme was Faith, Hope, and Charity, and returning to God.
As we walked to the Lincoln Memorial and found our way among the crowd our hearts warmed with the kindness, thoughtfulness, and respect of others - there was not a stranger among us. As we were waiting for the 10 a.m. start of the three-hour spiritual rally there were flags waving from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. You couldn't help being overcome with emotion.
We arrived at 7:30 a.m., and squeezed into the crowd about 300 yards from the Lincoln Memorial. Everyone around us was telling where they came from. A couple from Florida, that had been there since 4:30 a.m., had a large duffel bag filled with T-shirts and hats with "Get Back to God" on them. About 8:30 a.m. they started passing them out to whoever wanted one for free. They then led us in singing the National Anthem. One minute before 10 a.m. a flock of geese, in perfect V formation, flew over the reflecting pool. God's very own fly over!
Beck introduced Sarah Palin speaking as the mother of a soldier about our collective pride in our military, restoring America's honor, and the spirit of Martin Luther King. She then introduced three military heroes: Marcus Luttrell, a Navy seal, and the sole survivor of a Special Forces operation in the Afghanistan hills who was severely injured and was helped by Afghan villagers; Eddie Wright, a Marine sergeant, who lost both hands in an ambush in Fallujah and earned a Bronze Star for leading his men out of the ambush; and Tom Kirk, an Air Force colonel, who survived 5 1/2 years in the Hanoi Hilton and returned to the U.S. more in love with America than ever.
The Medal of Merit, originated by George Washington, was then presented to three people who embodied the attributes of Faith, Hope, and Charity: a Medal for Faith, to C.L. Jackson, a minister from Texas who has founded 14 new churches and stood with Martin Luther King during his seminal speech; a Medal for Hope, to Albert Pujols, of the St. Louis Cardinals for his dedication to children with Down Syndrome; and a Medal of Faith to Jon Huntsman of Salt Lake City, who has given millions of his personal fortune to fund the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and many other charities.
Beck then introduced Dr. Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King's niece. She spoke of her uncle's "I Have a Dream" speech on those very Lincoln Memorial steps and about the importance of our nation's return to God in order to fulfill her uncle's dream and realize America's greatness.
Beck's own speech also centered on a return to God and faith by all citizens. He spoke of all the great men whose memorials surrounded us in D.C. and how generations before us gave their lives for the freedom of future generations. As he was speaking, 240 'Black Robe Regiment' ministers of all races and religions - ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, locked arm in arm, joined him on the stage. Beck said they do not agree on everything, but they do agree on speaking the truth with a capital "T" and boldly and without fear, on the crucial need of each individual to restore honor in their personal life; and on the importance of prayer.
The closing prayer was delivered by Dave Roever, a man of amazing character. He had his face blown off by a phosphorous grenade in Vietnam. Severely disfigured, he is now a minister and travels extensively to visit military hospital burn units to encourage soldiers to seek their true worth from within rather than from their disfigured bodies.
The Special Forces Warrior Foundation was the beneficiary of the monies raised prior to and during this event (more than $5.5 million).
At the end of the three-hour rally, a bagpipe played "Amazed Grace," and this mass of people sang, and there was not a dry eye around us. May God bless us all, and God bless America.
Gib and Marilyn Moody, Chuck and Carolyn Barnes, Ginny McVey, and Glen Miller.