Counterdemonstrators at the Mall
Reporter Nelson Hernandez reports from 7th Street at the Mall:
Several hundred counterdemonstrators came to the Mall to demand that politicians see the Iraq war through to victory.
The Vietnam War loomed large in the speeches given by a series of speakers on a large stage.
The speakers said they did not want to abandon the Iraqi people and they wanted U.S. soldiers to be shown respect upon returning home.
The counterdemonstrators carried signs that showed their contempt for those protesting the war, such as "The 9th Circle of Hell is Reserved For Traitors."
Antiwar protesters who approached the fringes of the counterdemonstration on the mall were kept at a distance. One woman, Deborah Johns, the mother of a sergeant who has done three tours in Iraq, compared the conflict to Vietnam and said that supporters of the war will make their voice heard this time.
"We're not going to allow them to abandon the Iraqi people the same way" as Vietnam, she said. "We're not going to let the domestic enemy here at home defeat us like they did then. No retreat, no surrender, not now, not ever."
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