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Monday, August 29, 2005

The Rally Report

The Crawford rally and candlelight vigil through my eyes.
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We left Austin around 11:00 on our way to Crawford. This was an impromptu trip as my mom had heard about it on Friday morning and called me up at work and asked me if I wanted to go. My response was, "YEAH! Let's do it!" It was a way for us to be able to show our support for our troops and the duty that they are doing in order to provide the same kind of freedom that we have here in America. Though, admittedly, there are so many factions here in America who are working to undermine the basic freedoms that we are afforded under the Constitution, the Amendments and the Bill of Rights. The basic right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Take abortion for instance. Abortion cuts that first basic right to life. Abortion is NOT a guaranteed right. There is NOWHERE in the Constitution that says that anyone can kill the baby that is growing inside of them just because they don't want it, or that child isn't "convenient" for them "at this time in their life". Abortion is NOT a Constitutional right, people. The people who believe in socialistic, humanistic and communistic values that seriously undermine the American way of life that our founding fathers fought to give us are trying to change all of the foundations and priciples that America was founded on. If they get their way of the minority trying to silence the majority, they just might succeed, to the detriment of us all.

So, we were on our way to Crawford for about a 2½ hour drive and when we get to the rally there were cars everywhere!
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(I personally liked the sign that this truck was sporting)

Thankfully we got a space that wasn't too far from the event and I had the forethought to bring Em's big stroller. She still fits in it, thank God.
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Even though she is the size of a 5/6 year old, she still is only 3 and it would have been impossible to carry her everywhere for any length of time with her size. We also were able to put several bottles of cold water, Gatorade and a gallon of tang/protein mix drink in the bottom of the stroller. When we got there, there was an area where you could make a poster to hold up or sign a huge roll of paper for the troops and another for the President, showing your support for both. My mom and I both signed the yellow roll for the troops.
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The crowd there was amazing, very patriotic and very supportive of our troops.
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Some member of the press from SanFran came by wondering how many people were there and someone said about 1,000. I had to laugh b/c it was more like 2,000. I guess my mom had heard it wrong on the radio...two thousand...ten thousand...when the radio connection is kind of choppy, it happens. The really sad thing was that there were very few members of the media from the US who were actually there. Most of them were at Cindy's camp. Of course that's what the liberal media does, they only show one side of the story – the one they are predisposed to be biased toward (Anyone remember the recent "Rathergate").

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Shortly after we got there they threw out 3 Sheehan supporters that had managed to get in with their signs. Unfortunately I didn't get to see what the signs said as a member of the Blue Angel's dragged the signs out in front of the few members of the media that were there surrounding the Sheehan supporters as the police escorted them out.

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The man in the black shirt was at the Crawford Peace House later in the day after the rally was over. The lady in the pink hat was also part of it. Funny how the media that was there crowded around them like hungry sharks looking for blood. Most of the media, it sounded like, were from foreign countries. Most of them were speaking foreign languages to each other. That's a downright shame when the media from other countries have more interest in the pro-troops rally than those from our own country.

The crowd chanted "Cindy go home!" several times throughout the rally as family member with loved ones in Iraq, former Vietnam Vets and current military soldiers spoke throughout the 2 ½ hour rally. They had free ice cold bottled water in ice-filled tubs throughout the site area and people with misters to spray a mist on people. They also had a huge tent set up, which, thank GOD they did b/c it was hot, hot, HOT! In the SHADE the temp reading on my car's gauge was 105, so you can just imagine what it felt like in the full sun!
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Thankfully we brought our camping chairs and found a spot for my mom and Emily to sit under the tent in the shade while I went around taking pictures and talking to people and getting some great BBQ for us to eat!

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A woman taking a break from the heat by sitting under a tree holds a poster that says "The land of the Free BECAUSE of the brave".

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AustinTownhallConservatives.com members Brian McAuliffe (right), who also is a member of the Hays County Republican Party and Brad Ward (left), who is a self-described Pro-Constitution, Pro-Gun, Anti-United Nations American, were on hand to show their support of our troops and had a few choice words for Cindy via their signs.

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A huge flag is displayed that was sewn together with each square that makes up the red and white stripes decorated by a different person who supports the American men and women in uniform and supports their decision to go and bring freedom to those who had none over in Iraq. This flag was HUGE.

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Two of the guys cutting the brisket and sausage were from the Austin Fire department. One of them worked in east Austin and one of them worked the campus area.

Speaking as part of the lineup were Gold Star family members, former and current military personnel, Vietnam Vets, and even the wife of one of the men on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania on 9-11. She said that the reason she is supporting our troops in Iraq is because she knows that they are over there fighting to bring freedom to others and to also prevent another 9-11 from happening again. Another speaker who is a current military member who had just returned from a tour in Iraq said that Cindy Sheehan is lowering the morale of the soldiers over there b/c all they are hearing is how "the people" back home aren't supporting them and how "the people" back home are against the war so even though they know that they are fighting for a noble cause, they don't believe that they have the support of the American people back home. He said that it was time for the rest of America to stand up and speak out against people like Cindy so that the soldiers in Iraq know that they are not forgotten, abandoned or disrespected by those whom they are also over there fighting to protect. (I mean really, what do Cindy and the rest of her ilk believe? That if we pull out and go home the terrorists – yes TERRORISTS NOT FREEDOM FIGHTERS – are going to be content to sit there and twiddle their thumbs? No, they will be over here making war on our home soil. Why don't the people like Cindy understand that?)

The Gold Star family members, who had lost family members in the War were going to go over to Camp Casey and take the crosses from the site b/c there were SEVERAL family members at the rally who were furious that Sheehan were exploiting their deceased family members in that way. They were ready to make a statement that CINDY DID NOT SPEAK FOR THEM!! Unfortunately, members of the Democratic Underground got wind of their plans and knocked over the crosses that were out there. Eventually most of the crosses were recovered by the families and put up at the Candlelight vigil held at Fort Qualls, which was set up behind The Yellow Rose, Crawford's big gift shop. However, about 40 that were originally there were missing, which really incensed those family members who's loved ones crosses were among those that were missing.

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On the way into town to get a bite to eat after the rally, we drove by the Crawford Peace House where several anti-Bush, anti-war signs were up all around the house and the grounds.

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Two women from the "Lesbians Against Bush" part of Sheehan's fans were on the corner of the parking lot to one of Crawford's most frequented restaurants and the owner came out and told them to get off of his property so they stood in the street right across from Fort Qualls.

There was a display set up in front of The Yellow Rose, the Crawford gift shop and site of Fort Qualls, that had a replica of the Liberty Bell that people could ring as well as a display of the Ten Commandments. Emily at first was scared of the bell b/c it was LOUD, but later in the evening she tried it out on her own and almost was able to ring it. She did eventually ring it with mommy's help!
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Only in a small (Texas) town would a restaurant be able to get away with having this up without getting slapped by a lawsuit from the ACLU or some other ridiculous organization.

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My mom and Emily sitting on the sidewalk in front of Fort Qualls.

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This was the very small group of anti-war protesters across the street from Fort Qualls that were protesting the candlelight vigil.

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A local Crawford resident who supports Bush and the troops painted his classic car to reflect his patriotism.

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A young girl wears a shirt that reflects the family's feelings about their loved one who is currently on tour in Iraq.

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Fort Qualls was established on August 18, 2005 1. To refute and to ANSWER the untruths that Camp Casey, Cindy Sheehan & The Crawford Peace House have falsely made about our soldiers, our country, and our President! 2. To continue to let the truth of FREEDOM ring & keep America free. 3. To aggressively challenge untruths, wherever they are.

Fort Qualls was named in memory of a Central Texas soldier Marine Lance Cpl. Louis Wayne Qualls, 20, who died in Iraq last fall.

"If I have to sacrifice my whole family for the sake of our country and world, other countries that want freedom, I'll do that," said the soldier's father, Gary Qualls, a friend of the local business owner who started the pro-Bush camp. He said his 16-year-old son now wants to enlist, and he supports that decision.

Qualls' frustration with the anti-war demonstrators erupted last week when he removed a cross bearing his son's name that was among hundreds the group had put up along the road to Bush's ranch.

Qualls called the protesters' views disrespectful to soldiers, and said he had to yank out two more crosses after protesters kept replacing them.

Fort Qualls' motto is "DO NOT LET GOOD BE OVERCOME BY EVIL! LET EVIL BE OVERCOME WITH GOOD!"

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Retired Military Chaplain stopped at the rally and vigil on his way to Laredo to work with the boarder patrol. He has been petitioning Bush to release some of the surplus supplies and allow homeless vets to work with the border patrol and give them a home on the border and let them help take care of the border problem with illegal crossings. He already has gotten some favorable response from the White House over this plan.

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An unknown man, presumably the father of one of the fallen soldiers, stood in reverent silence in front of a garden of crosses with the names of the soldiers who had given their lives in battle. Sometimes silently shedding tears, sometimes praying silently with head bowed. He finally kneeled before the cross of Robert Thornton and touched the dog tags that had been placed there. Finally after about 10 minutes he went and sat in a chair next to the crosses and was just silent and the look on his face was haunted.

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A tribute set up by the parents of their son in the garden of crosses at Fort Qualls.

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The angel at Fort Qualls is a sculpture that was created in support of our troops.

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Wade Fortin, a Vietnam Vet, who has been in and out of hospitals since he came home from complications due to Agent Orange has had both legs amputated, most of his fingers amputated, almost all of his teeth gone, and is very depressed – his friend was afraid that he is seriously considering suicide, was finally given his homecoming tonight at the candlelight vigil. It was a very touching ceremony complete with the 100 or so people who were at the candlelight vigil cheering for him and thanking him. I could tell that it touched him very deeply and his toothless smile was just beautiful. I can only hope that it is enough to get rid of those suicidal thoughts in his head. The sad thing about this story is that b/c he is missing so many appendages, his friend said that few people get to know him b/c of his appearance. He has been really hurting for some friends and the friend that was there with him said that Wade often asks why he is his friend b/c nobody else seems to want to be. The friend was able to get the former military men there, including the chaplain to go over and talk to him and salute him. It really meant a lot to this Vietnam Vet who had been shunned for the most part by society ever since he had gotten home.
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Wade's friend

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"We did not lose the war in Viet Nam, we lost the cause in America because the media told the country that we were losing and stopped supporting us and through their bias urged others to do the same but if we keep supporting the troops here, we will win in Iraq and it will not become another Vietnam. This is the best thing you can do for the troops right now – show your support at rally's like this. Be vocal about your support of the troops. Don't let the media or the other side try to keep you silent. You know we are not the minority, but the majority and the majority are no longer silent. The minority can not silence us anymore."

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The candlelight vigil was very emotional, spiritual and patriotic with many of the military veterans and loved ones offering prayers, tears flowing freely among those whose loved ones were over in Iraq or who had lost someone there. Everyone said the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by a former Vietnam Veteran and sang our National Anthem.

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Some of the vets that were at the candlelight service. Very quiet, very staid, very reverent and respectful with big rumbly voices that were surprisingly gentle.

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Some of the names of soldiers that their family members wanted their crosses removed from the Camp Casey site.

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Some of the crosses that were rescued from Camp Casey by irate patents and family members who were angry at Sheehan for using their children/loved ones names to further her anti-war, anti-troop rhetoric.

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Some of the family members re-erecting the same crosses at Fort Qualls in support of the duty that their loved ones died performing.

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The parent of one of the soldiers who was KIA in Iraq holding her son's cross that they took back from Camp Casey. She said it was a disgrace what Cindy was doing to the memory of her son and to the memory of every other soldier who had died or were still fighting over there.

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A military father proudly holding up pictures of his son, who, he said, had been proud to be in Iraq, working toward giving the Iraqis the same freedoms that we were privileged to have here in America. He said that his son and everyone that his son served with in his squad/platoon/where they were stationed in Iraq believed in what they were doing and that what Cindy was doing was spitting on their memory and spitting on their efforts and that it was a disgusting display to have someone like her trashing the soldiers who were over there doing their duty.

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Em prayed right along with the Chaplain as he said a prayer for the protection of our brave men and women in Iraq. This is probably one of my favorite pictures of her this weekend along with this one:
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During the candlelight vigil a storm started to kick up. Lots of lightening in the distance, wind gusting pretty hard, huge, infrequent drops of rain. The storm, they say, was going to produce gusts of up to 60 miles per hour, possible large hail, huge showers, etc, so we decided that safety had become the order of the day, plus Em was READY to go.
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And now Sheehan is calling the mothers of other slain soldiers "brainwashed" for supporting "murder and mayhem". After calling the terrorists in Iraq who killed her son "freedom fighters," anti-Bush activist Cindy Sheehan now says other mothers of those slain in the conflict whose views oppose her own are "brainwashed." She said, "I am starting to lose a little compassion for them. I know they have been as brainwashed as the rest of America, but they know the pain and heartache and they should not wish it on another. However, I still feel their pain so acutely and pray for these 'continue the murder and mayhem' moms to see the light."

Before calling someone who has lost their son brainwashed for disagreeing with her spitting on their child's memory, she might want to look in the mirror and see how much of what is coming out of her mouth is left-wing regurgitated rhetoric. Who's the one who's been "brainwashed". She has become the parroted mouthpiece for the left, in fact so much so that Martin Sheen visited her on Sunday – he the KING of the ultra liberal Hollywood leftists. The more she belittles other who don't think like her, the less people are going to listen to her and the less credibility she will have with the general American populous at large. She's already starting to lose credibility as she starts speaking about channeling her deceased son and the other fallen soldiers. She herself has said that had she "been in her right mind" after Casey died she would have denied him a military burial and refused to let him be buried in his uniform, and what was she doing while she was not "in her right mind"? In her own words - she sat on the couch and cried and drank for a week, then went to meet with Bush and had nothing but the most complimentary things to say.

4 comments:

No_Newz said...

Thank you for letting me feel like I tagged along. Beautiful pictures!
Lois Lane

Ken said...

Nic

Thank you for the awesome pics and report. I wish I could have been there too. I have directed people to your site from mine. Keep up the great work!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Great report and pictures; it made me think I was there. Well done.

Lyn Cash said...

what a moving blog post, nic. (glad to see you made it home from reno safe & sound, by the way, considering all the hassles you had getting back to texas)

hugs,