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Gathering of Eagles

Marc Fisher reports:

On the mall between the Hirshorn Museum and the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden, several hundred supporters of the Iraq war listened to speeches and song in what they called a Gathering of Eagles.

Parent after parent of fallen American soldiers told the stories of their sons' decisions to join the military and their deaths from roadside bombs and insurgents' attacks in Iraq.

"You're going to hear a lot of grief, anger and rage over how our media and our elected officials have tried to redirect this war and our thoughts," said Gregg Garvey, whose son was killed in Iraq at age 23.

In the crowd, many veterans wore caps and insignias from their service in Vietnam, while others held signs such as "Che is Dead, Get Over It", "Traitors Go to Hell," and "Thank you, Vietnam Vets. You Saved My Family."

Another speaker, Joe Johnson, described how his son was killed by an IED after only 10 days in Baghdad.
"I'm so very proud of him," Johnson said. "I just wish I had the chance to tell him."
Shouts from all across the crowd told Johnson, "He knows."

Johnson asked the crowd, pointing to the Capitol building behind him, "Why did we even go there in the first place if we didn't plan on finishing? Is it because the war is costing a pile of money? Is it because of the human toll? If we bring our troops home now, they would have died for nothing and I cannot abide that."

The Gathering of Eagles is a considerably older crowd than that over near the White House. But at both events, much of the talk was about why more people had not come out.

By Aruna Jain |  September 15, 2007; 11:45 AM ET
Previous: Counterdemonstrators at the Mall | Next: Protesters at Lafayette Park

Comments

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More like a gathering of vultures who praise death and destruction.

Posted by: Paul Nolan | September 15, 2007 12:32 PM

oh please. i was there this morning. there were nearly 100 war supporters at best. why does the media lie?

Posted by: james resinquist | September 15, 2007 12:33 PM

They exaggerate the # of prowar forces because they have a prefab frame that has to be fit. So '100' becomes 'several hundred' in the case of prowar demonstrators, if 25k antiwar demonstrators show up, that becomes 'several thousand'...then it seems like the numbers were similar, both had 'several' something ya see?
The media used to do this during the Vietnam War also, even though photos of the marches showed that prowar demonstrators were always hugely outnumbered by antiwar demonstrators, usually in proportions of 1 to 1,000 or higher.

Posted by: Steve | September 15, 2007 12:57 PM

Um, how did someone's sacrifice in Vietnam save someone else's family? War supporters should at least be intellectually honest. For some reason, I have a feeling the media is trying to make these protests seem roughly equal in size. From what I have seen so far, they are now. Walking around DC (not near the protests admittedly, but in other places) I have already seen 10 anti-war demonstrators and NO pro-war demonstrators. If the numbers are both "hundreds", I should at least see some from the pro-war side.

Posted by: freeDom | September 15, 2007 1:01 PM

So make it cost more lives and money, then it will be worth it, right?

Posted by: Robert | September 15, 2007 1:03 PM

It has been established already that the government employs counter demonstrators. This proof was obtained in an ACLU lawsuit. Many of these people are also government employees. It is sad that they are given even treatment by this newspaper. It is the same kind of stuff that we criticized the soviets for doing.

Posted by: lwps | September 15, 2007 1:06 PM

Seems as though marc fisher got caught a big lie. So how does respond to this? (probably through silence)...

Posted by: joan schwartz | September 15, 2007 1:13 PM

It doesn't matter to him, it fits his story frame, so the frame must come first, namely trivialize antiwar protesters and organizers and insist both demos were the same size or roughly equivalent.

Posted by: Steve | September 15, 2007 1:21 PM

This is the saddest thing of all. Are the poor grieving parents to get a letter that says "your child died for nothing." No. How about this: "President Bush has stated that his goal upon completing his term is to found an Institute for Freedom and to make some money. His great sacrifice to the nation has been to work for peanuts while everybody he knows is becoming a billionaire. Your child died so that George W. Bush will have a story to tell: the Story of Freedom. Then he will be able to increase his earning power. Thank you for your sacrifice on behalf of George W Bush's financial worth." That's a little better. The people who make the sacrifice have to believe that their sacrifice was worth something. Maybe each one of them who has had a child blown up in Iraq could have a discount on a brick at George W. Bush's "Walk of Freedom" at his Institute. Regular patriots pay $1,000, but parents of kids who were killed in Iraq can have the brick for only $500! Don't you think that would be a nice gesture? Frankly, I'm going to be just a little ticked if parents who have given their children to the Iraq Cause don't get a break on Freedom Walk bricks. When they see the brick on George W. Bush's Walk of Freedom they'll know their kid died for a good cause!

Posted by: P J Tramdack | September 15, 2007 1:43 PM

Steve,

Why are you so threatened by someone opposing your view? What a fascinating line in conspiracy theory you espouse. Do you also wear a tin foil hat??

Posted by: earl | September 15, 2007 1:53 PM

"If we bring our troops home now, they would have died for nothing and I cannot abide that."

It pains me to say it, Mr Johnson, but your grief is misplaced if it requires more parents to be bereaved in order to give your own son's death meaning. It's hard to retroactively impose meaning on a misconceived, misrepresented and mismanaged war.

Posted by: Nick S | September 15, 2007 3:47 PM

Earl, I am against conspiracy theory, it largely emerges from rightwing populism. I'm in agreement with people like Noam Chomsky that conspiracy theory is a big pointless distraction from real issues.

Posted by: Steve | September 15, 2007 3:58 PM

So what was the "hot chick" quotient at the protest?

Posted by: Bill Harrison | September 15, 2007 4:41 PM

What? Noam Chomsky's the biggest conspiracy nut in the leftist pig sty!

Posted by: Sally M | September 15, 2007 8:36 PM

Well it sure doesn't take long for the kool aid drinking, conspiracy loving, defeat embracing crowd to comment here. Let's all just sing kumbayah and invite Al Queda over for some herbal tea, and I am sure they will forget all about the fact that they wish to kill each and every one of you infidels.

Posted by: Wesley Cannon | September 16, 2007 3:22 PM

From my perspective, the Gathering of Feebles dotted, rather than lined, the parade route. Dead-enders. Last throes. Turning the corner...

Posted by: CanCount | September 17, 2007 8:50 AM

Thank you Mr. Fisher for covering this event. The Eagles are some of the best Americans I've ever met in my life. They have the biggest hearts and support military familites (like mine) in every way possible. God has truly blessed my family by bringing them into our lives. I will be forever grateful to them.

Posted by: Chrissie | September 17, 2007 10:11 AM

Isn't amazing to see how these anti-war, anti-everything when finally opposed can only come up with "Bush paid gathering and conspiricy theories". Name calling is their MOS when confronted. Most of the protester where school kid who dont even know who is in office. The rest are wornout old hippies of the seventies that still don't have a job other than being supported by moveon.org.

Posted by: Dennis | September 17, 2007 1:44 PM

I was at this rally of over 1000 Eagles,
Freepers and people that actually LOVE their country!
Our numbers were considerably higher along
the route used by the slithering surrender leftard monkeys.
Ask anybody there..we were heard loud and clear!
I'm looking forward to the next opportunity
to confront these moonbat lunatics.
Face it commies...we're not going away..we're getting stronger and our Eagle talons are out!
If you don't support our troops and their mission..pick a better country!

Posted by: Yorktownguy | September 17, 2007 1:51 PM

Sally M QUOTE: "What? Noam Chomsky's the biggest conspiracy nut in the leftist pig sty!"

RESPONSE: Name one "conspiracy theory" that he has embraced.


Yorktownguy QUOTE: "I was at this rally of over 1000 Eagles,
Freepers and people that actually LOVE their country!
Our numbers were considerably higher along
the route used by the slithering surrender leftard monkeys.
Ask anybody there..we were heard loud and clear!
I'm looking forward to the next opportunity
to confront these moonbat lunatics.
Face it commies...we're not going away..we're getting stronger and our Eagle talons are out!
If you don't support our troops and their mission..pick a better country!"

REPONSE: Your group should change its name to "Gathering of sheep." What a novel idea you people have, i.e. to assemble people to support war. Glad you look forward to confronting us rational thinkers. I look forward to the confrontation also. Remember, we have the numbers and the ability to have independent thought giving us a clear advantage over your small herd of sheep. By the way, your unoriginality is not very surprising though your simple minds should be capable of coming up with a new "insult." The term "Commie" is so 1960's and before. Next you'll call us "pinkos."

Once again, your simple mentality can't comprehend the difference in having support for troops, or support for policy. Furthermore your favorite buzzword "support" is hollow rhetoric. Support in your type's eyes is typically slapping a magnet or sticker with a patriotic slogan on the back of your gas guzzling vehicles. Typically, the very people who "support" this war whom I've met are cowards. They are people more than willing to send someone elses child, parent, or friend to die while they watch TV routing for team USA in Iraq like a football game.

So cowards alike, start recruiting your family members to go and fight. After all it would be the patriotic thing to do when the military is overstretched and overused.

Posted by: Ajax Rasputin | September 18, 2007 1:36 PM

Ajax, you do realize that the war protest was organized by the 'answers' it is a communist group. So when you march with them you are showing support for communism. So the term commie is very appropriate for your group. Of course since your a free thinker you already checked that out, Right?

Posted by: ProudVet | September 19, 2007 2:08 AM

Mr. Fisher thank you for the accurate report. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: ProudVet | September 19, 2007 2:10 AM

Dear Ajax

I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and say you are a young university student. Who owns and ipod. Enjoys lattes and has group of like minded friends that have never worked a single day in your entire life. But your smart ... right ? Who's really the sheep ?

Once you do a little real living. Than you can comment on the above. Thanks

Posted by: The Guy | September 25, 2007 5:39 PM

I was there on this day (among the anti-war protesters). I work with the group Students for a Democratic Society (sds). Our contingent had several hundred students and youth and was as large as the GOE counter-protest. They numbered at most 2-300 protesters. The anti-war people numbered about 7-8 thousand. While the anti-war people were from all age groups,races and genders, the pro-war crowd was mostly older white men. GOE is simply an anachronistic gathering of men who grew up in the fifties and hold true to that decades 'values'.

Posted by: ryanfromsds | January 1, 2008 9:02 PM

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