I realize this is long winded and lot of it doesn't give much information about the speakers or the rally itself, but it does give an account of the type of people that were present and that's as important as the rally itself. We had gone to the American Revival rally in Phoenix and this was more of the same except 50 times bigger. Still the same type of people though.
Margie and I, and Ann, my sister-in-law, attended the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday and I must say it was one of the most impressive events I've ever been to. As you may know, they were expecting 300,000 people but there was probably more like 500,000 or more. One estimate from one news source, NOT FOX, estimated the crowd to be "at LEAST 500,000. I've never seen so many people at one place in my life. If you've seen aerial pictures of the rally you know what I'm talking about. The crow stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument grounds, about 1/2 mile, and about 1/4 mile wide. One D.C. Metro employee who has worked for the Metro for, I think 19 years, said he has NEVER seen so many people come for ONE event. Every subway or train coming into D.C. was crammed with people. At one station a couple told us it was and hour and half wait just to get to the ticket machine. One station couldn't handle the load so they just opened the gates and let everyone go for free.
A lot of people spent the night at the memorial and to get around the city ordinance that one is not allowed to spend the night there, they took turns with other people. A couple told us that a third of the space surrounding the reflecting pool was filled by 6:30 A.M. (the event started at 10:00 A.M.) We got there about 8 AM and could see a large screen and could see the top of the Memorial but could not see the stage. Clearly there was more people than expected because the people near the Washington Monument could see almost nothing, except more people, and could hear very little. But no one we talked to seemed angry. It was quite the opposite, everyone was in a great mood. Even on the subway where it was so crammed, and people at the stations couldn't get on, they were still cheering every time the doors opened and they saw there was not a chance of cramming another person in.
We were also surprised how many people with perceived disabilities were there. People with walkers, walkers and oxygen tanks, people with leg casts, people in wheel chairs, motorized wheel chairs, a man with no legs at all, some so old they could barley walk, and some with babies just months old. I helped one young couple with a 4 month old baby lift their stroller over the chain barrier along the side walk. It was obvious they had no money but they had driven down from New Jersey. They were so appreciative that someone would stop to help. I cannot stress how congenial EVERYONE was.
Another thing that really impressed us was HOW CLEAN THE GROUNDS WERE WHEN IT WAS OVER. There was literally not a SPEC of garbage on the ground, anywhere. Extra bags were placed inside the garbage receptacles, and when the receptacles were full, couple of guys from the crowd would tie it shut, set it aside, and put in a new one. No one just threw their stuff on the ground because the bag was full. A guy standing next to me was smoking cigarettes and dropping the butts on the ground at his feet. When the event was over, he picked up every one of them and carried them to the trash. People were carrying the smallest pieces of paper to the trash rather than dropping it on the ground. The WHOLE area was spotless when we left. It's almost impossible that no one, out of 500,000 people left their trash on the ground. If they did, someone else picked it up for them.
There was some reports in the media that there was some clashes between the Al Sharpton Martin Luther King marchers and the Beck fans. If there was, we didn't see it. We talked to a couple sitting on a park bench that had been in the march and they were resting their feet. They were just as cordial and friendly as any of the people we had talked to at the Beck rally. A lot of the Restoring Honor fans offered free water to the marchers as they passed. Not sure if they accepted as the bottles had "Restoring Honor" labels on them. ha!
I've attached some pictures but it's impossible to take a picture of a crowd of that magnitude without a high vantage point. Believe me, there were a LOT of people!!! The Washington Post reported, "tens of thousands". Ha! Maybe 50 tens of thousands!!!!
Oh, another thing that impressed me is the number of port-a-toilets. The picture shows just a small fraction of them. I didn't know there were that many in the country. Think they brought them in from New York.
Here are some pics Bernard took: