Jackson County Times

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Locals Heed Beck’s Call

Several area citizens journey to Washington for memorable event.

“We Must Restore America!” That was the resounding message delivered to a crowd which is now estimated to be near one million Americans who responded to a call to come to Washington made by popular TV and radio talk show host, Glen Beck. Hundreds of thousands of patriotic, concerned Americans from all across the nation made the pilgrimage to our capitol for the event. Among those were several people from Jackson County.

We interviewed some of those who attended to get their impressions, emotions, and opinions about the gathering. We can not call the event a demonstration, since no signs, political statements, demonstrations, or even tee shirt messages were allowed. If it was a “demonstration”, it was a demonstration of a love of country and respect for the laws of human behavior which are common to almost all religions. The meeting was totally positive, passive, and peaceful.

Among those local citizens known to have attended are Sybil Andreasen (Marianna) , Elaine Thompson (Grand Ridge), Patty Keiser (Marianna), Dinah Rhodeback (Marianna), Matelyn Crutchfield (Graceville), Clark and Sue Riddle (Bascom), and Pat and Nicky Pineda (Marianna), and Janice Norris (Alford).

When interviewed, all who attended came away with a realization that they had taken part in something unique.

The event was hosted by Glen Beck, who gave an emotional dissertation on the urgency for Americans to turn back to the religious precepts which guided our founding fathers as they drafted the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. He decried negative impact on the social, family, moral, and political structure of our nation which has resulted from the continuing intrusion of the progressive movement during the past decades.

Beck urged people to return to the basic precepts of personal character, honesty, and reverence for our creator. His appeal was across all religious, racial, and political boundaries, intended for the salvation of America.

“It was perhaps the most enlightening experience of my life,” exclaimed Sybil Andreasen during the interview. “I have never seen so many people assembled in one location, and they were all passive, pleasant, patient, and understanding. It was amazing to see.”

Patty Keiser was amazed at the diversity of the crowd. “There was an amazing number of young people there,” she stated. “It was not just the older generation which is generally identified with the tea party movement, it was much broader than that. It involved people of every religion, many races, and people from all over the nation.”

“The opening ceremony with the bagpipes playing ‘Amazing Grace’, and the entire crowd singing that great song in unison made chills run up your back. You couldn’t keep from being touched by the moment,” explained Elaine Thompson. Another moment which amazed the group was at the beginning of the program when a large flock of geese flew at low altitude in a “V” formation, circled and then landed in the large moat which fronts the Lincoln Memorial. “The authorities wouldn’t let the organizers have a military fly-by for the ceremony, so apparently God elected to have one anyway,” Thompson continued. “It was another astounding moment.”

The group stated they had arrived at the grounds at 7:30 AM, and the event began at 10:00, but they still could not get near the stage. The huge crowd filled the entire Lincoln Memorial grounds which will hold an estimated half million people, then it spilled over onto the Washington Monument grounds, and filled areas behind the stage. A pervasive attitude of cooperation, peace, and patriotic concern seemed to dominate the scene.

One day Pat Pineda casually made a comment to her son that she wished she could someday go to an event where Glen Beck spoke. She had become a fan and student of Glen Beck from his television and radio programs. When she mentioned this wish again when the Washington event was announced, he replied, “Well Mom, get packed and we will go.”

“It was truly a spiritual and emotional experience,” was Pat Pineda’s response when asked how she felt about her attendance at Beck’s “Restore America” rally. “The music was very moving, and the speeches made by Alveda King and Sarah Palin as well as Glen Beck were all excellent. Perhaps the most amazing thing was the crowd itself. The enormity of the gathering of human beings, all united and sincere in a very cooperative, peaceful spirit.”

Palin stressed the need for “Restoring Honor” in America. Beck proclaimed that this rally marks the beginning of America returning to the core human values which founded and made our nation great. It was truly a unique moment….let us all hope it also marks a monumental change in our nation’s history.

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