This past weekend, my good friends Mike and Sherry Scott and my wife Molly and I took a little trip into history.
The trip, although long, was worth every minute of the time spent. For years in editorials and in stories I have urged the great so-called "silent majority" of people in this country — who really are the backbone of its existence — not only to speak out, but also to help effect change by getting off their duffs and voting.
Last Saturday in Washington, D.C., the home of our nation’s capital, I witnessed the awakening of the silent majority and it was a beautiful sight. As a result my heart trembles with excitement that our country is still alive with people who still cry when the flag passes, who salute and thank our military everyday for keeping us safe, who are proud of our intelligence community and how they have prevented attacks on our soil for the past eight years.
Proud tears welled up as I rubbed shoulders with people who give credit to God for his many blessings on this country; I felt the collective outrage directed at politicians who would take us down the road of socialism. For many this was their first trip to our capital.
It has taken the total corruption of our elected leaders, taxation to the point of strangulation and the attempt to take one of the finest, though in need of repair, medical systems that exists in the world and turn it into no more than a third rate system run by an inefficient government bureaucracy to wake up millions of previously quiet Americans.
It has taken this and the pure arrogance of politicians and the mainstream media for people who are the very heart of our nation to arise and let their feelings be known.
On Saturday, September 12, 2009, they did just that.
I was born in Washington, D.C. I have been to a presidential inauguration, attended Fourth of July activities, seen the March on Washington by Martin Luther King Jr., but I never have observed the number of people who came to Washington last Saturday. They were from every state and province of this nation. There were grandfathers and grandmothers, families with children and young people galore. There were blacks and whites and Hispanics. All were polite and courteous. We saw young people giving up their seats to older people; we saw people picking up trash and not leaving it on the ground as has happened in past rallies.
The Park Service gave the organizers a permit to use the west lawn of the Capitol only; they finally had to allow the crowd to spill over into the mall area. The Park Service refused to allow permits for food or drinks to be sold, so people brought picnics.
The crowd gathered at Federal Triangle across from the White House for a scheduled 11:30 a.m. march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. The procession grew so large that the march started at 10:15 a.m. and was led by the Georgia contingent.
We marched at least 13 blocks and the crowd spread out over six lanes of the avenue. There was singing and praying and chants for the government to stay out of people’s lives. Many paused in front of the newspaper museum and took time to read the first amendment etched on the building’s wall.
We found a space to settle and listened to speaker after speaker talk about less government. For hours people kept marching down Pennsylvania Avenue with flags fluttering in the breeze. Some were American flags; some were state flags; some were bright yellow and read "Don’t tread on me." There were homemade signs of every kind.
In past weeks, leaders of the Democratic House and Senate, including President Obama, have belittled the groups who have organized the tea parties leading up to this march. Some have called us fringe kooks and said we did not represent the American people.
I can assure you when the crowd chanted throughout the day, "Can you hear us now?" that the good souls resting across the Potomac at Arlington Cemetery were stirred from their peaceful slumber.
I talked to people from all over this country and they had one common thought — they love this country but they are not happy with what is happening to them and their families and their friends and they are going to do something about it.
The 1.2 million citizens who marched in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12 made it known loud and clear that our government and its buildings belong to them, not to the politicians who temporarily preside within them.
The certain mainstream media outlets were conspicuously absent; there reports of a small crowd by some of them and that the rally was of no consequence. That reporting was nothing but a blatant untruth.
I am proud to be a member of the baby boomer generation. Finally we are taking the leadership role that our fathers and grandfathers secured for us.
The burden of setting the ship of state on an even keel falls on all of us, and I am proud that we are finally stepping up to say we want the country of our youth back and we are not going to be silenced until we not only have it back, but also that we’ve ensured that it will be here for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
The last time the silent majority was so stirred was 233 years ago, and because a leader and his government did not listen to people who were tired of excessive taxation and corruption, there was revolution settled by guns. This time around it will be settled at the ballot box.
So, I ask, "Can you hear us now?"