Wile, Wit, Wisdom & Weaponry

Ruminations, Opinions & Debate about the world as I see it and the toys that make it bearable!

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Location: TEXAS, United States

-Defender of the Second Amendment, the "little guy", free market system, liberty and freedom from government!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Standing with Patriots...

Tonight, I took part in my very first public protest. Sure, I've protested before- but always to my neighbor, my family, writing on my blog or talking to one of my best friends- never in a public forum. That all changed as I attended the Abilene Tea Party.

To my great surprise (and a little relief) it was a very friendly, family-oriented atmosphere as hundreds of people lined the streets at the local post office. Since I went alone, leaving my family to head for Wednesday evening church services, I was wondering who I would bump into that I might know. Within the first 2 minutes, I saw one of my church elders, several of my colleagues, and neighbors from down the street. What I witnessed was nothing short of breathtaking; people of every walk of life.

- Four year old children and ninety-four year old adults

- Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians

- The Ranch Foreman and the Bank Chairman

- The farmer in sweat-stained coveralls and the teenager in droopy pants

- People on motorcycles and people riding bicycles

- People waving American flags and people holding placards

- Married folks and single folks

- Athletic folks and less-than-athletic folks (me!)

- White collar and blue collar

- Those wearing RED and those wearing BLUE

- Independents, Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats

- Preachers, Teachers, Lawyers, and Business Owners

- Salesmen, Mechanics, Babysitters, Accountants

- Poor folks and rich folks

- People with agendas and those who were simply curious

Above all, I witnessed a scene of American pride and patriotism as a number of speakers stepped up to the microphone and addressed the assembled citizenry with their thoughts and feelings. All were calm, all were sincere, and all were given that ability covered by the protection of their First Amendment right to speak what was on their hearts. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. A young lady with a crystal clear voice sang the Star Spangled Banner.

The thunderous applause at the conclusion of each speaker's turn was matched only by the din and excitement of the throng that had gathered, punctuated by dozens of motorcycle riders who had descended on downtown as if Willie G. (Davidson) himself were present.

The endless stream of vehicles winding their way through the downtown streets, honking, windows rolled down to give thumbs up or shout encouraging phrases to the people lined up on the sidewalks was refreshing. People taking photographs or talking to any one of a half dozen journalists who were camped out snapping photos, shooting video feed, and furiously capturing talking points and sound bites.

As I surveyed this scene that was electric as any public event I've ever witnessed I felt a stirring. It came from deep within me, and it was unexpected. It took me a moment to recognize that an old friend had re-emerged that I thought was long gone. That stirring - that friend - is Patriotism.

What a grand evening to stand with fellow Patriots and declare our values and dreams, together, with one unified voice.

God bless America...

God bless Texas...

...and may God protect them both!