8/28 Rally in DC – Pictures and Notes

Against the advice of nearly everybody I spoke to, I drove into DC on Saturday morning for the 8/28 rally in DC.  I have to admit, I did not know what to expect.  On the drive home afterward, I reflected on what I had observed and decided that my main take-away was that the 8/28 rally was emblematic of the backlash that is building steam across America. That’s really about it.  There was far more that was intended, but after sifting through it all, most of it was nothing new.

I was not super excited about 8/28.  (I’m still not.)  8/28 was billed as non-political and it kept mostly to that promise.  The problem is that now is precisely the time to be political! This is one of my biggest problems with Glenn Beck.  Blaming Republicans and Democrats equally is going to propel the very policies that Beck seeks to eliminate.  It makes no sense.  Having this rally over-shadows the 9/12 event, which will be much more effective at helping the conservative movement.

Beck should have gotten behind the 9/12 event.  His support would have made the event even more potent that either 8/28 or 9/12 can be, or could have been, alone.

Be that as it may, it’s over now.  The rally was a success.  Here are some notes about what we experienced…

We parked right along Constitution Avenue at about 12th street, just east of the Washington Monument.   Walking across the lawns of he Monument, I was struck by the streams of people coming in from every direction.  I snapped a picture as I walked past the Monument approaching the WWII Memorial.  You can see streams coming in from the south (to the left) and of course the line I was in coming from the east.  There were also massive lines of people walking in from the north, coming from Metro stations in Northwest DC.  This is the view walking just past the Washington Monument…

Approaching Lincoln Memorial on 8/28

We got past the WWII Memorial and walked down the length of the reflecting pool to try and find our place.  I took a couple of pictures while walking directly in front of the WWII Memorial…

Walking to 8/28 Rally

When we got down about 75% of the length of the reflecting pool, the crowd got so thick we couldn’t get any closer – this was about 7:45am.  Here’s the view from where we were:

8/28 Crowd

When looking at the picture above, you can see pretty far back.  The news reports said there were “10’s of thousands” of people.  Look across the reflecting pool – there were many more than “10’s of thousands,” and this was at 7:45 in the morning!

After we got settled, we got to know the nice people who were sitting by us.  Right next to us sat Sandy from Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her entire family.  Here is Sandy with my dear friend, Meredith:

People at 8/28 Rally

Here are a few other pics…  This couple came in from Chicago, Illinois:

I was able to meet so many people.  So many GOOD people.  I walked up to get a closer look during the rally and began talking to this couple.  I came to find out that the women in the photo below had been a student and was at Tienanmen Square.  Wow!  She didn’t say much, but her words were very encouraging:

Woman at 8/28 Rally

I tried so hard to get a good picture of the crowd. By about 10:30 it had reached its peak.  Here is the best pic I could get of the crowds.  You have to realize, it was solid people behind me for about 150 yards and all the way back past the WWII Memorial.  Our estimates, for what they’re worth, was about four or five hundred thousand.  Have a look for yourself…

Crowd Size at 8/28 Rally

Don’t let anybody tell you that it was just some big racist-fest.  Not only were many of the presenters black, but there were also plenty of people from all races and ethnic backgrounds in attendance.  The man below was there the entire time.  He participated in the entire event; singing, praying, clapping and cheering.  Don’t mean to pick on him, but he was standing right next to me for 4 hours…I can’t remember his name…

Racist 8/28 Event

Lastly, for now…  On the walk back to the car, I had a nice lady take a quick iPhone shot of Meredith and me.  Meredith helps her husband, Greg run Cedar Forest Custom Cabinets in Nokesville, VA.  They are old friends and real patriots.

Harry Brooks at 8/28 Rally

Overall, the rally was a success.  Not so much because of the message, although it was a fine message, but rather because the spectacle of hundreds of thousands (read, not 10’s) of people coming in from all over the country speaks volumes about the mindset of many Americans.  We are fed up and we’re going to do whatever it takes to bring our country back to the exceptional state that it deserves to be in.  With a reliance on the self, the family, God and unencumbered by government and taxes, we will be most exceptional again.

Stay tuned for more posts about the actual content of the rally…


  1. Sandy Voss says:

    Hi Harry-
    It was a pleasure meeting you and Meredith on Saturday. I was very inspired by the whole program, but coming with my family I probably expected different things from it than you did. We attended because we are fed up with our current policies and know how quickly we are losing our freedoms. But I was also very happy to see that there is still someone who can speak frankly about God, guide us back to Him and to see the goodness and kindness that the American people portrayed that day. There are amazing stories out there! I know it doesn’t make us sound very assertive against this administration, but if not with God on our side, where else? If I lived closer, I would be there with you on 9/12 to help push our right agenda even more. But instead, I’ll have to keep up with you through your blog and support you however I can. Give a shoutout to Meredith and feel free to keep in touch. Thanks for the COFFEE! Sandy

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us, Harry. I will be looking forward to hearing more about the rally, from your firsthand account.

  3. It was so nice meeting you too, Sandy! I think it was an inspired decision (if I may say so myself) to bring the big traveler full of Starbucks coffee. 🙂

    I feel a little bad that my words seem to criticize the event… I honestly don’t mean to. There were at least two times when tears came to my eyes as I contemplated the words of the various presenters. It was a powerful, emotional day.

    There is not a shred of doubt I have that the message of 8/28 is spot on accurate. My fear is that with the elections so close, I don’t want to lose site of the politics. If we can maintain momentum and have as great a showing on 9/12, my fears will be put to rest. But if 9/12 (an overtly political rally) falls flat, it will be because all the energy and enthusiasm was expended on 8/28, which, while noble, was not geared toward winning elections.

    My angst comes from the worry that we are spending energy on things that in the short term will not help our cause. This close to elections, we need to be focused on the politics, lest we surrender an opportunity in November. I hope I am wrong…

  4. Harry, I wasn’t there so my view is third, fourth, or fifth hand. I’m glad it was a ‘non-political’ event. To me, that spoke much louder than an overtly political event. It gave a foundation from which the politics will arise. And let’s face it, everything these days is about politics in one way or another. I believe it was NBC who compared the hundreds of thousands there to the hundreds at Sharpton’s event. One of the media even pointed out that everything was even tempered, no incidents, although there were some obviously liberal agitators on the fringes who were trying to spark incidents – they failed, somewhat to the reporter’s surprise.

    No, the politics spoke loudly. It was one of those times when silence is far more eloquent than the most fiery oratory. I will be very surprised if this event does not strengthen the 9/12 event rather than weaken it. People who have always been members of the ‘silent majority’ are becoming active and less silent. I’ll bet many of the people who were there will also be at the 9/12 event. Activism, especially like this that comes from the very roots of one’s being, feeds on itself. This is like the genie who is let out of the bottle – you can never put him back in. It is the same as Gorbachev discovered – there is no such thing as a little freedom. Give the people a little and they will take it all.

    I may be wrong, but I think, hope and pray that November 2 will prove me right. One of the amazing things, and the thing that has some the most frightened, is the fact that at this point there is no real leader to the movement. No one is answering someone’s call, no one is marching to someone’s orders. This is a popular uprising. If and when it becomes organized, if it ever does, it is going to be a fearsome beast. I only hope we can keep it on the constructive path and not let it veer off into revenge, witch hunts, and retribution.

  5. Wow – great post. As much as I like being right (pun intended) 🙂 you make a compelling case, mrbb.
    I’ve been noodling this whole thing through, especially while watching Glenn Beck the past two nights (I am a huge fan). There may be a bit of chicken/egg going on here…

    Glenn’s motive is one that pays scant attention to the politics. He himself regularly hammers Republicans for their complicity in eroding our liberty. But you make an interesting point that the “politics spoke loudly.” A kind of am implicit endorsement of conservative philosophy.

    However, yesterday Beck said that he thought the November elections were a short term fix to a bigger problem. I see what he is saying, but I think that is dangerous because it may lull right-minded activists into a sense that November isn’t all that important.

    Also – I follow the American Conservative Party and the Virginia Conservative Party quite closely. While the core philosophy pf these third parties is one that I agree with wholeheartedly, I think they represent another danger. The silent majority may turn to these groups based on an apolitical view of current events.

    We MUST take back the Republican party and bring it back to its conservative roots. If we are to beat back tyranny by reducing the size of government, reducing the tax burden and forcing the government to act within the confines of the Constitution we have no choice in my view, but to use the GOP as our vehicle.

    So…. I think you (mrbb) changed my mind – at least for now. I do see the greatness of what transpired on Saturday. I think it makes sense to view it as a positive force for the November elections, even if GB did not intend for that. The 9/12 Tea Party and the elections will prove this out.

    But for now, I will consider my mind changed.

  6. Sandy Voss says:

    Harry-Now we are all on the same page!! I was going to give my two cents again after reading mrbb’s post. I agree with it too. Glad you are with us! I understand your concern about the short time that we have left before November. I just wouldn’t underestimate the message of the rally and how it WILL play in politics. I think that if it would have been more about the politics there would only be more nashing of teeth back and forth and not much would have changed. The rest of the country is sick of that. All the kindness tripped everyone up. They don’t know what to do. It has become comical to watch the media stumble over themselves. How much more disgraceful does MSNBC /Olbermann have to become?!?

    For every person there, there were 10 more who wanted to be. And we know all of these people will be at the polls. (Most of my liberal friends have said they are no longer going to pay attention to politiics, but I won’t bank on that either). But I’m even more fired up to come home and work to get Feingold out and a Republican Govenor into Wisconsin. We have awesome Republican candidates and no tea party candidates in the middle-which is not the case everywhere.
    I am volunteering where ever I can-hopefully others are doing the same. I am hoping that 9/12 will draw a large crowd, but if they are like me they won’t be making the trip again. You’ll have to rev up your local friends to take the stand for my family! We’ll be with you there in spirit!

  7. Harry, there is definitely a danger that November will be a short term fix. However, I have a feeling that this time it won’t be. As I have said before, I think Obama may have been good for this country. He highlighted the slippery slope we have been on and awakened people. I have a feeling they will stay awake this time. Wasn’t it the London Financial Times who said that if the November elections turn out to be as big a disaster for the Democrats as it looks to be, it may well be three to five generations before the liberals will have any hope of returning to power. A generation in American politics is a lifetime.

    As to a third party, I really don’t see that as a danger although I think it will happen fleetingly. Right now we have a lot of groups, large and small, moving independently toward the same goal. November will either kill them off or show how much power they really have when combined. That will be the watershed, in my opinion. Ideally they will use their common goals to unite and become a long term force, not just splinter and go away. The former is my prediction. The easiest way to power would be, as you say, to take over the Republican party. I think it is entirely possible that the Republicans, as a party, are too entrenched and have too much momentum to make the change gracefully. If so, then we will, according to my crystal ball, see a new party emerge. Between 2010 and 2012 the new party will grow and become a major party. The Republicans and Democrats will dance and realign until the extremes of both are marginalized and we end up with two parties again: Liberals (Democrats and left leaning Republicans) and Conservatives (Right leaning Democrats and Republicans and today’s amalgam of Tea Party groups). Obviously I think the Conservatives will be in power. I only hope they will move forward, not against. I would like to see a true and clear division, so the Liberals basically ask ‘What can your government do for you?’ and the Conservatives ask ‘What can your government help you do for yourself?’ Obviously I think the correct question is the latter.

    I easily concede you may know more about this and have a clearer vision than I. I am not ‘active’ in politics, never have been. I am opinionated, though. I have been accused of making Attilla look like a flaming liberal. Of course that isn’t true. I knew Attilla and he is getting a bad rap – lousy judgment in PR. Besides, how would you react if you were raised on soured, fermented mare’s milk? My background, though, is career military. I am of the generation who believes that the active military has no role ever in politics. A military man should vote and may privately express an opinion, but no more than that. The civilian control of the military and the division between the two is that extreme and important in my opinion. I don’t go as far as Eisenhower and his generation who believed a military man should not even vote because that is exerting military influence on civilian control, but I don’t miss it by much.

    By the way, do you remember that the Republicans used to be the liberal party and the Democrats were the conservatives?

  8. Sandy, I wanted to respond to one of your comments. You stated much more clearly than I the effect of “the kindness”. I couldn’t think of the words. You hit the nail squarely on the head. I go back to Dan’s Bake Sale in the mid 90’s if you know anything about that. From at least that time forward the conservative get togethers have always been kind, self-policed, people clean up after themselves, and so on. The kindness you mentioned. Liberal events tend to be the opposite from what I have seen and they really don’t know how to handle the kindness. I hope our side never forgets that and never changes. Besides, keep smiling; it makes people wonder what you’re up to (and bugs the hell out of them)!

  9. My husband and I were there! Enjoyed it all, especially meeting and talking to others from all across the country. Loved the “fly-over” by the geese right before the program began. Perfect!

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