Individually Come Together to
Support our Troops and Country
July 28, 2003
by Helen and Peter Evans
(Husband and wife team who will be speakers at the Victorious
America Day Rally)
Living here in Washington, DC we see plenty of protest rallies. Some of them are amusing, many seem pointless and some, like Tractor Man, are both entertaining and thought-provoking. "Why are they letting one man tie up traffic?" "What would happen if there were a terrorist attack with all these streets closed?" "How in the world did he get a tractor onto the Mall without someone stopping him?" For that last one - he had gone through the proper channels and obtained a permit. It's amazing what this city will let people do to express themselves.
There are some protests that seem contrary to our freedom of expression, such as those few loud voices bellowing "No blood for oil!!!" at us as we exited the American Enterprise Institute recently. Don't we have a right to attend any meeting we choose without being harassed? Just because someone doesn't agree with us doesn't give them the right to yell at us as part of their "freedom of speech." Or does it? Well, yes it does. Because of experiences like this, we tend to get the creeps when we think of mass rallies. Of course it's their right, but it's just not something we would do ourselves.
Or would we? When we thought about it a little more, we recalled being packed together with others on the Memorial Bridge, waving flags and cheering on the thousands and thousands of motorcycle riders who come here each Memorial Day weekend for Rolling Thunder. The whole capitol Mall vibrated with the roar of bikes. A few days later, there we were again, packed shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others, including President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld, each sharing our private moments honoring the dead at Arlington Cemetery. We found ourselves again on the Mall, milling with several hundred thousand other individuals on July 4th to watch the fireworks and celebrate our independence. Each time we were surrounded by other individuals with a common purpose, but each was having their own private experience. It's paradoxical that we share the same larger purpose with others but in our own individual and sometimes private ways. Perhaps that's the difference between those who rally to protest "against" something and those who gather "for" something; to celebrate, honor or support a cause. We maintain our individuality to such an extent that we tend not to realize we're part of a crowd.
Perhaps we've thought more about this since we're reminded by the crowds on a regular basis. Maybe we've just articulated why you yourself have not joined a rally or a demonstration. During the recent rallies to protest the war in Iraq, we heard over and over again, "Why aren't there any pro-American rallies?" We believe it's just natural for people who are "for" what the government's doing to feel they don't have to do anything different. Besides, what do individuals do naturally, when they support something? They do individual things, like write congratulations to the President, their Congress person or the troops themselves.
However, these are pretty extraordinary times. Our liberties are under attack on several fronts: terrorists for sure, but also those that want to take away our liberties by laws that over-tax and over-regulate our lives, or international conventions such as the ICC or the Kyoto Protocol. So, when we heard about the Victorious America rally to take place in DC on August 17, we decided these times require pro-American people to come together to show our support, to show the world we're in this for the long haul. We look at it as a day to celebrate our love of country and show honor to our troops. We have even agreed to speak at the Lincoln Memorial. For this honor we are grateful. We hope to see you there.
If you want more information about this positive event, go to "http://www.victoriousamerica.com/index.html".
Peter and Helen Evans, http://www.peterandhelenevans.com This husband and wife team - international teachers and authors - teach a philosophical approach to conservatism. They have helped thousands of adults in more than thirty countries realize more of the best of themselves through responsibility.