My mom and I and about 500,000 friends went to Washington DC last weekend for the “Restoring Honor” rally on the Mall.
(picture from the event to the right)
To be at the Mall in DC between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial surrounded by half a million people celebrating the greatness of America, the heroism of our men and women in uniform, the message of Martin Luther King Jr and the faith, hope and charity we strive for was an experience I have trouble putting into words . Friends of mine who wanted to attend but could not asked me to try to describe the event and what it was like to be there. I find the only word that fits is “epic”.
ep•ic /ˈɛpɪk/ –adjective Also, ep•i•cal.
1. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style.
2. resembling or suggesting such poetry.
3. heroic; majestic; impressively great.
4. of unusually great size or extent.
I looked around at the crowd of families, patriots and average Americans and I felt the “faith, hope and charity” that were the themes of the event. I struggle to describe the atmosphere, except to say it was the nobility of regular people challenging themselves to be better people. It was the collective belief that America is only great if her people are great. It was Ghandi’s exhortation to be the change that we want to see in the world.
Military heroes were honored for their bravery and sacrifice. Over 5 million dollars was raised for the Special Operations Warrior Fund, an organization that provides support and college tuition to children of slain special forces. Baseball great Albert Pujols was awarded the “hope” medal for the extensive time and money that he gives to charities for down syndrome. Alveda King, extolled the message of her father and uncle that it is through love and divine guidance that we bring people together. Hundreds of thousands of Americans made a pledge to restore God and honor in their own lives. Glenn Beck paraphrasing Lincoln’s Gettysberg address reminded us all that it mattered not what was said that day, but what we did going forward that would be remembered. So what is it that the event asked of us?
Get back to God. Hard times are here and difficult challenges lie ahead, for us as individuals and for our country. We don’t ask God to be on our side. We change as individuals and get on God’s side. God’s “side” is not the left side or the right side. It is the side of integrity, honor, faith, generosity and sacrifice.
Take care of your family, friends and neighbors. Lead by example by being a person of character and values, even when it is not easy, especially when it is not easy.
Fight for the founding principles that have made this country the freest, most prosperous, most generous and most ingenious nation on earth. This experiment in liberty and self-governance has been the citadel of freedom and beacon of hope to the world. Our founders all too well understood that for the principle of limited government and self-regulation to succeed, Americans have to hold themselves to the highest standards with “firm reliance on divine providence” pledging our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to those American ideals. Those words are the closing of the Declaration of Independence, and of the declaration of the “Restoring Honor” rally.
I came out of the event inspired to make commitments towards these principles in my own life and daily interactions. I left with a new dedication to draw closer to God and His will for my life. I also found a new belief in the American people and our ability to unite around those things that all Americans revere. We should be able to join together in the answer to all our nation’s ills: God, honor, faith and charity. These are not just words to inspire the spirit or paste on a campaign slogan. They are the only characteristics that will save this country from the seemingly insurmountable economic, moral and spiritual challenges that face us.
Watching the main stream media’s coverage of the event was baffling. I can’t think of a single theme at the event that all people along the political spectrum of good faith and love of America could not unite behind. But I am no longer disheartened by partisan politicking and disparaging of this movement. I saw a righteous movement based on the dream of MLK, the peace message of Ghandi, and the divine plan of God for America if we submit to His will. I saw represented in the multitude who attended the millions more who will hold this country together through our most difficult times.
This movement is not Democrat or Republican. This movement is George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglas, and Harriet Tubman. This movement is Alveda King and Albert Puljos. The heroes honored at the event seem larger than life. Those heroes are not the sum of our nation though. The sum of our nation is the dads, moms, entrepreneurs, soldiers, neighbors and volunteers that follow the path these heroes have illuminated. This movement is me. This movement is you. The greatness of America and the future of that exceptionalism is based on the actions that we take on a daily basis to walk that path so “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Gettysberg Address)
It won’t do it justice, by I encourage you to view videos from the event yourself. Then, if you concur, make your own pledge to faith, hope and charity.