From the office of Del. Rick Impallaria:
All my life I have watched and learned about famous marches and demonstrations at our nation’s capital — from the Bonus Army of World War I veterans during the Depression demanding benefits from the government (a march which went horribly wrong) to the civil rights marches, the anti-war marches, and the pro-life marches — always wondering what it would be like to participate in our God-given right to peacefully petition our government to listen to our demands and carry out the will of the people.
Saturday I finally got that opportunity, boarding one of twelve buses from Bel Air, fully loaded with some people I know and many more I was meeting for the first time. Dave Pridgeon, one of the organizers, talked about how in his younger days he participated in the anti-war marches, and how this opportunity gave him the chance to return to Washington for a different cause. 35 years later his political opinions have drastically changed. The other side of the spectrum are people who were never politically active and never dreamed of participating in such an event — at 70 years old, they felt it was important to go and voice their opinion, not so much for themselves, but for their children and grandchildren and for the Constitution they respect and love. The National Park Service estimated the crowd at 2.5 million, according to the UK Daily Mail, but being in the middle of it made it impossible for me to guess how many people were there.
We arrived at 8:30, and large crowds were already there. When I started making my way back at 1:45 from the reviewing stand, I could see that the number of people had increased ten-fold. On my way to the bus around 2:30 I was shocked to see people carrying signs were still arriving. I guess that’s the best description I can give you of how well attended the event was.
It was amazing how all states — all 50 — were represented — even Alaska and Hawaii. They came by plane, bus, car, train. Most notable to me was a large group from Ohio, one of the states most hard hit by the bad economy, mostly due to their large manufacturing base and coal mining. The Ohio flag, which is strikingly attractive, outnumbered all other state flags. A large number of the Ohioans were coal miners wearing their mining gear, and were, it seemed, strongly opposed to Obama’s “cap and trade” legislation, which will bring economic destruction not only to the country as a whole, but to Ohio in particular, with their dependence on coal for industry and for utilities.
There were some media reports of the “mob mentality” and people carrying Confederate flags. I guess this is true, because a mob can be described as a group of people moving forward with one cause and a plan to get results. There were three groups of people carrying the Stars and Bars — the Confederate battle flag.
The first group was from the State of Mississippi. The Stars and Bars is part of their state flag — “how dare they carry their state flag!”
The second group, from South Carolina, carried a double flag — the blue flag with the palmetto and their old state flag, the Stars and Bars. Standing under the Stars and Bars was a large contingent of South Carolinians, African-Americans displaying their pride in their home state and in being in the march.
The third group, and little known to those who do not know history, was the Maryland contingent. While, yes, the white and red cross and the black and gold field are the coats of arms of Maryland’s founding families, the red and white cross is the Maryland Confederate battle flag, and the black and gold field is the Maryland Unionist battle flag. The Maryland state flag was created in a compromise to give equal prominence to each side’s colors, much like the S. Carolina flag. Proudly standing under the Maryland flag were myself and Corrigan Vaughn, a candidate for U. S. Senate (and it seems to me that Mr. Vaughn is an African-American).
It was without doubt one of the most peaceful, controlled marches that Washington, DC has ever seen. I heard no foul language, saw no disrespect. People carried some of the most creative handmade signs you could ever see. My favorite was a picture of a new-born baby with the caption, “I owe HOW MUCH money to the government??”
From wheelchairs to baby strollers and all ages in between this march was an amazing thing to witness and be part of. At the end of the day, the crowd created the theme — We are going to take back our country — We are going to defend and protect our Constitution — It is time for the government to get out of our pockets and out of our lives and to allow the American dream to be unimpeded.
A quick overview of the issues on signs — cap and trade, Obama health care bill, out-of-control spending, out-of-control taxing, disapproval of czars, opposition to amnesty for illegals, opposition to weak positions on terrorism, the closing of Gitmo and the President apologizing for America, the failure of bailouts, unconstitutional cash for clunkers, support of gun rights, support of the pro-life movement, all things constitutional.
This event without a doubt was the largest, most patriotic event on a large range of issues concerning our country, unlike previous marches on a single issue. It was absolutely a privilege to have participated in it. I come away absolutely assured that this will not be the last freedom-for-all march on our nation’s capital.
Thanks to all who supported us but were unable to make the trip. I was sent a link to a website of many photos taken at the march. The shots include Penna. Ave. filled with people. A sight to see.http://gallery.me.com/bhauchter#100270&view=grid&bgcolor=black&sel=152
Delegate, District 7