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Glenn Beck 'Restoring Honor' Rally Draws Vast Crowd to National Mall

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On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, at the spot Martin Luther King Jr. spoke 47 years ago, conservative commentator Glenn Beck told a huge "Restoring Honor" rally Saturday that the United States has "wandered in the darkness" for too long.

Beck is a widely watched Fox News personality and dogged critic of President Obama. But on Saturday, he drew a line from the biblical Moses to George Washington to Abraham Lincoln -- whose statue loomed behind him -- to King who gave his "I have a dream" speech in 1963, a seminal spark of the modern civil rights movement. His decision to schedule his rally on the King anniversary and his pledge to "reclaim the civil right movement" drew criticism, but Beck – a self-described student of American history -- said it was not intentional and attributed the date to "divine providence."
Glenn Beck at rally in Washington
Beck said on Saturday that of all the leaders he admires, "I can relate to Martin Luther King the most," because he was a man who made a difference.
New York civil rights leader Al Sharpton held a "Reclaim the Dream" march and rally at the Tidal Basin, several long blocks away from the Beck event. Sharpton has said he has honored King's speech every year, and his plan was not in reaction to Beck. "We come because the dream has not been achieved," Sharpton said on Saturday. "We've made a lot of progress. But we still have a long way to go."

On a comfortable, sunny day in the nation's capital, the predominantly white crowd at the National Mall, many dressed in American-flag inspired shirts and caps, soaked it all up and occasionally broke into chants of "USA. USA." Organizers had a permit for a gathering of 300,000, the AP said. But the National Park Service no longer provides estimates for the size of crowds at the many rallies on the Mall.
Beck said what was happening at his rally had nothing to do with politics "and everything to do with God." The crowd, many clutching American flags, spilled from the Lincoln Memorial nearly a mile all way to the Washington Monument. "Something that is beyond man is happening," Beck said, said. "America today begins to turn back to God."

Beck had billed "Restoring Honor" as a non-political salute to the military, with proceeds after expenses going to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to children of Special Ops troops killed in action or training.
Former Alaska Gov, Sarah Palin also spoke, as the "mother of a soldier;" Palin's son Track served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. But Palin, who said she felt the "spirit" of Martin Luther King Jr., did not avoid politics altogether. "We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want," she said. "We must restore America and restore her honor."

Beck awarded what he called "civilian" medals of honor, modeled on the military's Purple Heart, with themes of faith, hope and charity.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa introduced star player Albert Pujols, who won the Hope award for his foundation which helps people with Down syndrome. Pujols, who also aids the poor in the Dominican Republic, said he was happy to have the chance "to share the gospel of Jesus Christ." The Cardinals were in Washington for a series with the Nationals.
The more than three-hour event often seemed like a religious revival, with Beck calling on the crowd to go home and "pray on your knees," with the door open for your children to see. His King tribute focused on content of character, avoiding the 1963 speech's words on economic justice and warning that "America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.' "
Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King's niece, did evoke the injustice of the times when she shared the stage with Beck. (King's son Martin Luther King III supported Sharpton's event.) The historical 1963 scenes that introduced her were reminders that the crowd that filled the same space 47 years ago was much more diverse.
When the African American singers joined her in a snippet of "Lift every Voice and Sing" -- the James Weldon Johnson poem set to music and known as the black national anthem – few in the crowd knew any of the words.
Nevertheless, many were moved, particularly by Beck's focus on the spiritual. "I'm a Christian," said Diane Gibson of Natchitoches, La. Her husband, Jim, said that the only way to "bring America back together" was "to turn back to Christ." While Diane said it was not about Democrats or Republicans, many at the event have been active in conservative politics and said they have attended Tea Party movement rallies.
Todd Burek of San Antonio, Texas, who traveled to Washington four times in the last year for demonstrations, found the day "pretty inspiring," and hoped some of Beck's inspiration would rub off on son Matthew, 7. Burek said, "Our country is headed in the wrong direction, away from the values our founders put in place." He called Martin Luther King "an American hero" and felt the presence of King's niece proved he would have approved of Beck. "Contrary to what they say," Burek said, "Beck is a good person who believes in what he says."
"I'm sold."

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landofaouzs

First of all, I want to thank Glen Beck for becoming an amplified voice of many many americans. "Understanding" is the solution to any problem and this is what I hear when he speaks. It's time "We The People" as well as our government stop the personal attacks and children-like behavior. Have we forgotyen that our children are like the phrase "Monkey see...Monkey do"? What kind of an example are we setting for them...and then we, as parents comdem them for their actions. Our children have no choice but to think we are idiots, just like other countries must look at our actions and see they don't match our words. And we want them to respect us and our way of life. I'm sorry folks...."We're not in Kansas anymore" We need to be people of our word as we were yesteryear and stop behaving like children having a bad day at the playground. I am just as guilty as I accuse but I WANT TO CHANGE TOO and TURN BACK TO GOD !!!!! Again, thank you Glen Beck for reviving the TRUE feelings in our hearts...Everyday is "The Garden of Eden"...everyday day we have the choice of taking a bite from the apple or not. Aren't we as a nation suffering enough illness as a result of TOO MANY bites from that "DAMNED" apple?. Come be my brother and I will be your comforter...UNITED WE STAND...DIVIDED WE FALL.........Amazing Grace...........Aus

September 03 2010 at 9:55 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Bill Saunders

Mary...did you really interview everybody that attended the Beck rally. I would assume you did when you write such things as "many at the event have been active in conservative politics and said they have attended Tea Party movement rallies." If you truly only spoke to a few attendees...as I suspect...then the use of the word "many" is very misleading...don't you think?

September 03 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
ph28645

Strange. I've read several articles about the Beck rally and Sharpton march. Most highlight the racial make up of the Beck rally but not a single mention of it at the Sharpton march. Also, much debate over the size at Beck's rally with not a word of the number of marchers, even after 4000 Dept of Ed. employees were invited to the local event.

September 03 2010 at 11:03 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
itala2

For all of the Republicans that voted against the stimulus.......why are you holding big stimulus checks in your hands in your campaign for all the photo ops trying to get credit for money you secured for your states? For all of the Republicans who are hollering against "Obama Care" and for the states that have filed suits, why have 7 states already filed FOR and to receive health reform subsidies for their retiring seniors? Even Koch industries, the single LARGEST multimillion dollars of ANTI health care reform contributor who led the smear campaign has filed FOR receiving Obama's health care reform subsidies for their own retiring employees. Does this not paint a pretty picture?

September 02 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse -10 rate up rate down Reply
itala2

Does anyone else find it ironic that FOX has been demonizing an unnamed “evil” man who is filtering millions into the mosque near Ground Zero. What they fail to mention is that man, who they mysteriously won’t name, co-owns their network. The second largest shareholder of FOX, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi Prin...ce who is one of the largest contributors to the mosque that is causing all the controversy? So actaullu the Saudi Prince who is funding the mosuq is in part Beck's and Palin's boss!Gotta love it!When asked abut it they all said "no comment"

September 02 2010 at 11:21 AM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply
pmbalele

Next to apologize are the following: Sean Hannity, Malick, Rush and Laura Ingraham; TEA Party leaders; Sarah Palin, Michael Steele; the bumbling Stuart Varney, FOX News CEOs, Ms Crowely and Megan. These have been haunting Obama since declaring his Presidential candidacy. It is time for them to intro-inspect their conscious. Above all I have no idea what they tell their kids after reporting false information about status of the economy and President Obama. Do their wives really condone their behavior.

September 01 2010 at 5:08 PM Report abuse -19 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pmbalele's comment
Kam

So people need to apologize for reporting the truth? Yes, in our country we have the right to speak out against tyrannical rulers and those who abuse the power WE give them, especially when they blatantly lie or misdirect to get elected. The left spoke out VEHEMENTLY about George Bush- they burned him in effigy, they had profane bumper stickers and tee-shirts, they did assasination movies about him -- but somehow when it's their guy, they get indignant and self righteous? Please.

September 02 2010 at 8:11 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
Hi Karen

Well more than 300,000 valpoboy17! What a massive turn out of patriots. Congrats America!

September 01 2010 at 12:28 PM Report abuse +27 rate up rate down Reply
Nikki

against each other at all. I THINK YOU MISSED THE POINT.... The rally brought people together of every Faith . Nobody from the rally or that had anything to do with the rally is hiding behind Jesus Christ at all. I hope for your sake you can get a clue. The Rally is exactely what the title of it was about....RESTORING HONOR TO THIS COUNTRY!! I hope you can get your head out of your butt and start standing up for what is morally right! STANDING UP FOR AMERICA !! ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!

September 01 2010 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nikki's comment
rhino45411

I'm curious Nikki... What is so honorable about a hypocritical tv entertainer from the most biased new organization, besides MSNBC, hosting a rally on "Restoring Honor"? Do you see the irony here? Every week Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert show, with ease I might add, how hypocritical Glenn Beck really is. He is a man that is a great entertainer! I think the man is absolutely hysterical when he is telling people to think for themselves, but then goes ahead and tells them to buy gold from a company that is under investigation for its product. About your "ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!" comment... If there is a "God", do you really think he is looking past all of the tragedies our country has produced, from the atomic bomb to lying about wars? Do you think your "God" is looking at America and saying.. "Man I did a good job with that country"? Your "God" didn't create countries you idiot... He created land that over time shifted due to tectonic plates. Explain to me how "God" and country makes any sense at all. Yeah your faith maybe moral to you, but your explainations for why they are moral are without logic... Which makes perfect sense since religion and logic hardly, if ever, go hand in hand.

September 03 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
jeromecorp

I watched on C-span and thought they did a great service for our wounded Vets! I always enjoy hearing good things said about God and Jesus. I'll let the haters take it from there.....

August 31 2010 at 5:26 PM Report abuse +35 rate up rate down Reply
Rob & Kathy

Why do Democrats and liberals (redundant) insist on whining about Bush? Apparently they don't have any meaningful accomplishments of their own they can point to...

August 31 2010 at 10:16 AM Report abuse +36 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob & Kathy's comment
rhino45411

Ok Rob or Kathy, I am going to explain something to you that you have to understand or else you will never understand anything about politics... When Bush was in office for his first term, Clinton was bashed on everything from leaving Bush a mess to the Monica affair, which resulting in a impeachment trial. Bush, who lied about reasons for war, implemented the Patriot Act which allows for the wiretapping on civilains without warrant and he drove up the debt on the national credit card on funding those two wars... So that is why "Liberals" (If there ever was such a party of progressive thinkers and movers in this complete right-wing country) bash Bush because he and his adminstration should be tried for war crimes and be sent to prison at Guantanamo Bay. I am not a fan of the current administration and I did not vote for the man. I will never vote for a Democrat because they piss me off more than the Republicans. Why? Because while many Republicans may be corporate schills, at least they are freaking consistant on their horrible agenda's. The Democrats are the biggest push overs I have ever seen and it is obvious when they have a 60 seat majority and can't pass very much into law, even though Republicans have fillibustered a record number of times. Do not sit at your desk with a comment that consists of no logic or reason and think you have somehow "nailed it" on bashing a Democrat. You want to bash a Democrat? Ask about their wonderful corporate sponsors they love to bash so much, but take money from on the side.

September 03 2010 at 4:14 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

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