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.
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