2010-09-02 / Front Page

Locals Embrace Rally

County residents fill bus to attend rally
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

“Restoring Honor” rally participants line the grass and stairs surrounding Lincoln Memorial Saturday. “Restoring Honor” rally participants line the grass and stairs surrounding Lincoln Memorial Saturday. Touted as an event to honor our nation’s military, county residents in attendance at Saturday’s “Restoring Honor” rally seemed to be generally pleased with not only the nonpolitical message offered by an array of guest speakers but also by the shared dream of restoring our nation to greatness.

A total of 51 individuals boarded a Bollman bus bound for Washington, D.C., Saturday morning as part of the day trip organized by the Fulton County Republican Committee. Co-organized by Bonnie Mellott Keefer and Becky Mellott, local participants hailed from all areas and corners of the county and even from Greencastle in neighboring Franklin County.

“I believe we had a good response,” said Mellott, who added the political affiliation of those on board ranged from conservative to liberal. Following the rally, Mellott said that in spite of critic claims the event was in no way racially or politically inspired.

According to Mellott, rally organizer and political talk show host Glenn Beck simply reminded those on hand that “our great country begins with each one of us and our faith in God. Before America can turn around we need to look at our own hearts ... the rest will follow.”

“What I took away was faith, hope and charity! The camaraderie we shared on the bus to D.C. was a nice experience. Taking an elderly gentleman under our wings and making sure he was well taken care of was the charity. We all brought home valuable lessons I think. Everyone was so nice. Politeness ruled the day, at least where I was, and that was the hope,” Mellott shared with the “News.”

She noted she was undoubtedly excited about hearing words from former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on being a military mom, and found Dr. Alveda King’s message to be truly inspirational. “Glenn still ruled the day! This event was every bit what I expected it to be and more. Several hundred thousand people singing “Amazing Grace” together – just imagine,” concluded Mellott.

Seventy-year-old Peter “Pete” Rusack of Hustontown pointed out he enjoyed the entire event but narrowed down his favorite aspect to any references made to God, which brought about rounds of cheers and clapping.

“ ... This was more of a get-together to praise God for our wonderful heritage and to get a our country back to putting God first in what we need do do as a nation,” said Rusack, who deems himself a Republican becoming more Libertarian with every passing day.

“ ... I think that those responsible for the occasion made it possible for us to stand up for the Constitution and the Bible. Now that they have done their part, we need to pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to see that the rest of our nation, whether it be our immediate neighbor or people down the street understand what that means and for them to do the same,” he said.

Even though there were those on hand donned in sparking red, white and blue; others wearing “Don’t Tread On Me” T-shirts and even more waving the nation’s flag, Rusack stated the most unique observation of the day was witnessing a member of the Black Panthers weaving his way through the crowd and berating Glenn Beck.

“No one person tried to confront him or do anything to prevent him from continuing through the crowd ... It was peaceful as well as a praising of our Lord and Savior,” Rusack reflected.

Mirroring many of Mellott’s reflections, Rusack said his favorite speaker during the August 28 rally was Palin, who he labeled as refreshing, intelligent and beautiful both inside and out. “She is a woman of integrity, and she believes in the one who gave her all she has – God,” he stated.

With an American flag stuck jauntily in the side of his hat, Needmore resident Ray Miller, along with his wife, Kelly, were also among those local residents to make the trek to Washington, D.C. A Vietnam veteran, Miller told the “News” he was glad to be a part of the military-inspired event and definitely thinks more emphasis should be placed on the care of the nation’s veterans and military families.

Also from Needmore, Danny and Denise Crouse stated their attendance Saturday was based on the belief that many citizens are in dire need of a establishing a better personal relationship with God.

“This is a great country, but we fear that it is steering away from the principles that our forefathers had and wanted us to emulate. There is a need to develop and then maintain faith, hope and charity,” said the Crouse family. “We were also attending to show our support and respect for those who are willingly serving in our military.”

Never having attended a rally, tea party or similar event, the Crouses said they were most impressed by the fellowship of those attending from all over the country and of those who shared their common concern of getting this “great nation back on the right course.” They did not encounter any signs or individuals protesting government, a political body or race and found everyone to be considerate of one another.

“We believe that Glenn Beck accomplished what he wanted by having many people of great faith from around the United States congregate in one place at one time,” concluded the family. “Matthew 18:20 sums up what we feel about the event. It says, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’”

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