Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gathering of the Eagles

The Wall

Quiet Vigilance

A Veteran teaching his young charge

Wating in line to pay respect at "The Wall"

A Park Policeman praying and Marie

Machinst's Mate 2nd Class reporting for duty at The Wall

In times of need it has always come down to a dedicated and unassuming group of Americans to keep the republic safe and intact from those that would do it harm. Yesterday in Washington DC I had the honor to be a part of those that are always there to defend and protect in the “Gathering of Eagles”.

My friend Marie and I arrived too late for the morning rally because I had to fight through the ice and snow that had fallen the night before to leave my house. I followed snow plows and salt trucks through the winding roads of western Chester County, Pennsylvania and northern Maryland to emerge onto I-95 just north of Baltimore, Maryland. Once on the cleared interstate highway I continued on my journey to Alexandria Virginia to meet up with my friend Marie.

Marie had driven all the way from Oklahoma City only to run into that same snow and ice storm to drive on the unfamiliar snow and ice covered roads of western Pennsylvania and Maryland the night before to reach the motel in Alexandria, Virginia. I was astounded when Marie had called me from a phone somewhere in Maryland to tell me what she had driven through and was continuing on to Virginia because she did not want to miss this Gathering of Eagles after she had come so far.

After Marie and I sat and talked for a few minutes we left the motel and somehow found the train station at East Church Falls, Virginia, got our passes and rode the train over to the National Mall. We got off at the Smithsonian Institute and walked about a mile in the windy 30 degree weather to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial “The Wall” and when we finally arrived it was about 11:30 am, too late for the rally. The rally wasn’t the whole story though in my eyes. I watched as those that had come there to protect and defend our nation’s monuments from outside agitators, go solemnly about the business of protecting the honor, dignity and great sacrifice that these monuments represent. After the morning pep rally there were no bullhorns directing the masses into artificial and preplanned routes. Those that showed up for the Gathering of Eagles already knew what needed to be done and went about their business with resolute organization.

I couldn’t help overhearing some say that they hope there would be equal coverage on the nightly news reports or the major news publications but I knew as many others that attended knew; there would be no equal coverage. I would be surprised if there was equal coverage because it would be akin to reporting that airliners were landing safely at the airport, it happens every day and it is not news. No, these people are not considered newsworthy but they are the people that keep and defend this republic and they go about it everyday without much recognition. These dignified monuments are erected to remember those that have given their lives to defend this nation and the Gathering of Eagles came Saturday to defend, remember and honor those great efforts and sacrifices.

I just want to thank the organizers of the Gathering of Eagles and those that keep a constant vigilance on our memorials.

Thank you, Jennifer


Mrs. Green said...

Good for you and Marie.

I was worried the whole damn time because of the stupid ice storm. Really. I hate ice storms.

Is Marie home yet?

J_G said...

Thanks for your concern Mrs. green. Marie should be home on Monday morning and she's supposed to call me when she gets home. We were both very exhausted after spending the day in the constant and cold wind. Marie did not get much sleep on Friday night so she found a room outside of Alexandria, VA and was going to sleep Saturday night and get a fresh start on Sunday morning. Hopefully I will hear from her tomorrow morning when she gets home.

SusieQ said...

Jenni and Marie, thanks for braving the weather and arriving in DC to protect the Viet Nam memorial. I am proud of you both and all the others who showed up.

Glad you are back home safe and sound.

MonicaR said...

Jennifer, I am so glad that you made it safely to the Gathering of Eagles. I was hoping that I would somehow meet you - but alas it was not to be. We got there early, but ended up leaving at about 1:00 p.m. because we were completely frozen, exhausted and Troll was in a lot of pain.

We are so glad that we went. It was a beautiful thing to see all of those patriots defending our fallen, defending our military men and women and defending our vets. The thousands of American flags snapping smartly in the wind was a sight to behold.

God bless - I'm glad that you made it.

Mike's America said...

I have to dig my photo of the Wall in snow out of the shoe box.

I remember how controversial the Wall was when first proposed. I never thought much of the design as described. But it really does do something when you are there.

I'm so glad that nothing happened to disturb the honor and sacrifice this and the other Memorials represent.

And I'm glad that so many folks were motivated to leave the comfort of their homes and spontaneously come to this place to show their support.

Skye tells me that some of the Vietnam Vets she talked to told her that it was their first time coming to the Wall and finally facing up to the humiliation that was forced on them by these lefty loons in the wake of that war.

The question now is whether the huge success of this event will lead to more and perhaps even larger demonstrations from the real Americans who are "mad as hell and not going to take it any more?"

You were part of a great event were we turned the tables on the lefty loons who may have gotten most of the media attention, but we certainly had more supporters on the ground and the Eagles soared in spirit above the haters.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thank you all for making the journey! I know it wasn't easy; apparently, some of the anti-war protesters were prevented from arriving because of the awful conditions of the weather. So thanks for braving it, and for posting your photos and reflections.

J_G said...

This was my first visit to the Wall. I have friends that served in Vietnam and I pay honor to their service. I was signing my enlistment papers as the last shooting battle of the War in Vietnam SS Mayaguez was going on.I had just turned 18 a little over a month before that.

The final evacuation of Saigon had occured only a few weeks before in April Final Evacuation of Saigon.

The efforts by
Gallant US Marines
to evacuate and hold the last position went largely unnoticed until years later when the wounds of the humiluating defeat handed to us by a defeatest democrat controlled congress in Vietnam began to heal.

Now we are faced with the same democrat defeatism and damn it, that is just too much for me to put up with. I was part of those that had to pick up the pieces and try to hold things together during the failed presidency of James Earl Carter and a defeatest democrat controlled congress. We did not have to lose that war and we do not have to surrender this one. I get so angry at anti war defeatists because they have no idea of the consequences of a defeat.

I saw the stupidity of the signs that were carried by the fruitcake moonbattys on Saturday but I have no time or place for those pictures on this blog. I rode the train over and back to the site with some moonbattys and I have some pictures of them but their opinons and attitudes are worthless to me.

Enough, I'm getting angry thinking about those losers

Mrs. Green said...

"...when the wounds of the humiluating defeat handed to us by a defeatest democrat controlled congress in Vietnam began to heal."

Not according to history. This is from the US Department of State, not from a liberal site:

Ending the Vietnam War

Newly elected President Richard M. Nixon declared in 1969 that he would continue the American involvement in the Vietnam War in order to end the conflict and secure "peace with honor" for the United States and for its ally, South Vietnam. Unfortunately, Communist North Vietnam's leaders, believing that time was on their side, steadfastly refused to negotiate seriously. Indeed, in March 1972 they attempted to bypass negotiations altogether with a full-scale invasion of the South. Called the Easter Offensive by the United States, the invasion at first appeared to succeed. By late summer, however, Nixon's massive application of American air power blunted the offensive. At this point, the North Vietnamese began to negotiate in earnest. In early October, American and North Vietnamese representatives met in Paris. By October 11, they had hammered out a peace agreement. Its key elements were: all parties would initiate a cease-fire in place 24 hours after signing the agreement; U.S. forces and all foreign troops would withdraw from South Vietnam no later than 60 days after signing the agreement; American prisoners would be released simultaneously with the withdrawal of American and foreign forces; and a National Council of National Reconciliation and Concord would be created to organize and oversee free and democratic elections to determine the political future of the South.

The agreement represented a victory for the North Vietnamese but also it seemed to provide an honorable way out for the Americans. Nixon quickly approved the terms. (NOT THE CONGRESS) On October 22, however, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu stopped the process in its tracks. Especially infuriating to him was the cease-fire in place. It left thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers in South Vietnam (estimates ranged from 140,000 to 300,000) well positioned to continue the war when the Americans departed. To gain Thieu's support, the Americans reopened negotiations with the North Vietnamese based on his objections. This so offended the North Vietnamese that they too insisted on renegotiating several settled issues. By mid December the talks had collapsed.

Diplomacy had failed and a greatly frustrated Nixon concluded that only force could persuade Hanoi that negotiating with the United States was preferable to continuing the war. The President ordered his military commanders to mine Haiphong Harbor and to initiate a sustained air campaign in the Hanoi-Haiphong region. Beginning on December 18 and continuing for 11 days, American bombing attacked all significant military targets in the region. Even though the targets were military, the aim was psychological—to shock the North Vietnamese back to the negotiations in a frame of mind to end the war. On December 26, the North Vietnamese signaled their willingness to be agreeable and to meet in early January. After 3 more days of bombing, Nixon ended the air campaign. Nixon also believed that the bombing would remind the South Vietnamese that American air power was the most powerful weapon against the North Vietnamese, and that its continued availability was contingent upon South Vietnamese support of the agreement.

Nixon's plan worked and in early January 1973, the Americans and North Vietnamese ironed out the last details of the settlement. All parties to the conflict, including South Vietnam, signed the final agreement in Paris on January 27. As it turned out, only America honored the cease-fire. Furthermore, the National Council of National Reconciliation and Concord was stillborn. The North wanted to destroy South Vietnam while the South wanted to defeat the Northern forces. The inevitable solution, therefore, was to fight until one side won. Military facts on the ground, not words on paper, would determine South Vietnam's future. Additionally, within 24 hours of the cease-fire coming into effect, the return of the almost 600 American prisoners began, as did the redeployment home of the remaining American and South Korean troops in South Vietnam. The January accords, titled the "Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam," neither ended the war (except for the United States) nor restored the peace. A little over 2 years later, 30 North Vietnamese divisions conquered the South and restored peace in Vietnam. The American commitment to defend South Vietnam, described as unequivocal by Nixon and Kissinger, had been vitiated by the Watergate scandal and Nixon's subsequent resignation. By that time, the Paris Accords seemed memorable only as the vehicle on which the United States rode out of Southeast Asia.

J_G said...

The congress cut off funding for the war mrs. green they were defeatists and no amount of trying to obscure it will ever change the facts.

J_G said...

Your facts are incomplete and do not tell the whole story mrs. green, I lived through this period and remember it like it was yesterday.

I have held democrats in contempt since the day that your Senator wished that our enemies would defeat our forces to show that we could not win this war in 1969 when I was 12 years old.

Kennedy would escalate his attack on May 24 in a speech to the New Democratic Coalition in Washington, referring to the battle as nothing but "cruelty and savagery," as well as saying that the Vietnam War was unjustified and immoral
referring to the Battle of Hill 937 called "Hamburger Hill"

Later in that same week Time magazine published the faces of all those that were killed in Vietnam that week while making an inference in "weasel words" that these men were all killed at that particular battle and that was not the story.

I know all of this mrs. green and I reliving my anger and all the reasons why I wanted to go to the military and do my part in restoring honor from something that the democrats tried to take away from us. It was Lyndon Johnson that screwed things up in Vietnam by trying to micromanage and not give our forces the neccessary freedom to attack SAM emplacements in Hanoi and Haiphong so we could cut of the resuppply of troops in the south. It was the congress that cut off funding and the will to win while Nixon was President.Nixon was elected in 1968 and resigned in 1974 mrs. green and did not preside over the surrender of Vietnam, it was Gerald R Ford and the democrat controlled congress that surrendered Vietnam.

These congressional amendments brought the end of the war in Vietnam
Cooper-Church Amendment
Case-Church Amendment

In January of 1973, President Richard Nixon approved the Paris Peace Accords negotiated by Henry Kissinger, which implemented an immediate cease-fire in Vietnam and called for the complete withdrawal of American troops within sixty days. Two months later, Nixon met with South Vietnamese President Thieu and secretly promised him a “severe retaliation” against North Vietnam should they break the cease-fire. Around the same time, Congress began to express outrage at the secret illegal bombings of Cambodia carried out at Nixon’s behest. Accordingly, on June 19, 1973 Congress passed the Case-Church Amendment, which called for a halt to all military activities in Southeast Asia by August 15, thereby ending twelve years of direct U.S. military involvement in the region.

The rest of the Story

Toad734 said...

The question is: 30 years from now, is the next generation going to be visiting a similair sized monument to the Iraq war?

What was gained by that war with so many deaths, and what will be gained from repeating that in Iraq?

Do you really think we should just let the bodies pile up like we did in Vietnam?

You need to ask yourself who is really benefiting from this war and how they are all connected.

J_G said...

We are always going to be visiting the memorials of our war dead because there are always people willing to fight for their country and give their lives for freedom and there will always be those that will try and take those freedoms away.

Vietnam was a tragedy that could have been avioded if the communists were forced to surrender and not us by our own leaders.

The One thing that is crystal clear about Iraq, if something like the Church amendments are enacted as Chuckie Schumer has spewed we (as in all Americans) will all lose. I can see it now, we raise the white flag over Iraq get onto planes and ships with our tail between our legs and call the legislation that caused the surrender the Hussein Obama amendments. Not on my watch or your life!

Mike's America said...

In 30 years time we'll be visiting War Memorials to US troops who died in Iraq.

Most likely they will be erected by IRAQIS who now have the same freedoms that the Toadbats of the world would deny them.

Jennifer: Sorry if one of my moonbats followed you over here. You want to borrow some disinfectant?

J_G said...

Nah, that's OK Mike. It kind of reminds me of going to the zoo to see the unusual creatures.

I would like to have a world that doesn't require building war memorials but history doesn't indicate that will happen anytime in my life. I just want to make sure that when we decide we must go to war that we go to win.

I don't want our efforts and the sacrifices of the troops and their families to a become some hollow democrat campaign slogan designed to appeal to masses of mindnumb followers to a time tested and proven failed strategy of appeasement and surrender.

Those peace protesters during Vietnam wanted peace and tranquility in southeast Asia but due to their efforts just the opposite happened as I have already mentioned.

TrekMedic251 said...

Wow! Those "hecklers" (WaPo's word) look might peaceful.

Unfortunately, another duty called and I wound up working second medic at Uwchlan Ambulance (due to the ice storm) from 1800 Friday to 0600 Saturday!

Hope everyone else enjoyed it!

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Richard Nixon committed himself when he became president to the idea of "Vietnamization", which was to train more and more South Vietnamese troops to become self-sufficient; and consequently, part of the plan was the steady troop withdrawal and intensified bombing. In '72, when Nixon was running for re-election, and after Operation Linebacker II, he finally got the North Vietnamese onboard with the Paris Peace Accords. Part of the package included two secret agreements: one was billions of dollars in reparations, after the war. But the North did not get it, because they had broken their agreement by invading the South. The 2nd secret agreement was with the South Vietnamese. He gave them a solemn pledge, in writing, that if the North broke agreements, and invaded the South, America would get back in, and provide whatever aid the South needed; even troop support. Unfortunately for the South Vietnamese, Nixon was driven from office by the Watergate scandal. When the North Vietnamese invaded the South, an unelected President in the form of Gerald Ford pleaded with Congress to enforce our agreements and honor our pledge to our South Vietnamese allies. In 1975, more than one million innocent Vietnamese fled in terror from a massive invasion by the North. Congress and the anti-war movement did nothing to alleviate the suffering.

As a constant reminder of what President Ford deemed to be his failure, he kept the U.S. Embassy (Saigon) stairs in his library. It wasn't President Ford's failure: It was America's failure.

J_G said...

Like I said earlier Word, there is plenty of blame to go around for the mistakes that were made during Vietnam. There was bumbling by the Air Force for their tactics during the first bombing missions of Line backer I when B-52's where easy targets. The B-52's would always use the same cell formation during the attack and make the same turn after dropping their bombs making them sitting ducks for SAM crews to zone in on them. This is just one example of military blunders but the constant steady drumbeat of "Peace Now" and "Hey, Hey LBJ how many kids did you kill today?" The press and the Peace movement was then as it is now the best ammunition the enemy has and they get it for free.

In a recent meeting of the Generals of the Southern Command (Command center for the Middle East) it was agreed that Al qaeda is out of money, short on personel and their best hope for victory is the American press and peace movement thereby prolonging the fight in Iraq.

For many that recall the Vietnam era, this approach is deja vu. In a recent article in the Washington Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave noted that during the Vietnam War, General Giap relied on the American peace movement to weaken American resolve. That had the effect of turning an American military victory into a political defeat. Former North Vietnamese General Staff officer Bui Tin once said that the peace movement was "essential to our strategy." In America, the open support of Hanoi by Jane Fonda, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (now head of International ANSWER, which coordinates the largest protests) and others "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses," Bui Tin said. "Through dissent and protest," the US "lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."
Measure of a Nation by Mark Silverberg

Marie's Two Cents said...


You are one great Patriot.

You braved as much as I did to get to this Historic event.

We can honestly say we put our money where are mouths are, and the next time someone says "Why dont you do something about it, or why dont you put your money where your mouth is", we can honestly say "We Did"!!!

I cant think of anyone I would have wrather spent this event with than you my friend :-)

LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

I often wanted to visit the wall, I have been to DC many times, but never been to the wall.
It is a very sensitive topic, especially with my grandmother.
Hopefully someday when I venture back to DC, I will visit it. Usually when I went there for sightseeing tours my Grandmother was along and would not go to the Memorial.
Usually any other time I go to DC (or near by)it is employment related and really don't have time for sight seeing, because usually I am in a rat race to beat the I-495 beltway traffic or at important venues relating to employment. I absolutely hate that road. I hate the traffic, the bungholes that drive it. I usually get cut off or usually an exchange takes of middle fingers take place amongst motorists. I have seen other things like the US capitol Bldg, the white house and the Washington Monument, but I never made it to the wall. I would also like to see the WWII memorial if it is completed.

RJay said...

I assume the picture captioned
"A Park Policeman praying and Marie" Is my cyber friend Marie's Two Cents.

I'm so thrilled that you and she were able to be two of the Gathering Eagles.

J_G said...

Pennsy, The WWII memorial is complete but when we were down there the fountains were shut off because it was still very cold. It is very impressive as it should be.
You'll know when you're ready to visit the Wall Pennsy. You will make time for it and make a special trip.
You're not kidding about the drivers on the 495 Beltway. It was Saturday morning and it was crowded then, I can van't imagine it during the week in rush hour.

Yup Rjay, that is the one and only Marie and believe me she was ready to give war protesters more than her two cents. We almost got into it with a senior citizen moonbat at the train station but he decided it was better to hit the pike rather than tangle with Marie and me.

RJay said...

The machinist mate reporting for duty must be you.

I'm also a Navy veteran - Korea.
I don't recall any of this anti-American stuff going on then, but that was the stone age before TV coverage and the Internet.

If there were any anti-American protests we didn't hear about it.

Actually, the US gov threatened anti-war US citizens with sedition charges, and in fact, had actually prosecuted a number of anti-war activists.

It was mostly the era of the
The Real Hollywood Heroes

I linked your site.

J_G said...

Rjay, I wanted so much to go over to the Korean War memorial but Marie and I were so cold and it was all we could do just to make it back to the train station. Marie and I stopped and talked to a Korean vet that was using one of those battery powered scooters, he had his flag flying off the back of it just as proud as could be.

I get very upset with war protesters. It started back during Vietnam when I was to young to much of anything about confronting them. I turned 18 just as the last helicopters where leaving Saigon in 1975. I joined up and I have hated war protesters ever since Vietnam and I consider them to be part of the problem.