Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reflecting on 8/28

As I found myself mowing the lawn late Sunday morning listening to an eclectic playlist including songs by Rage Against the Machine, Jack Johnson, and Louis Armstrong, I began reflecting on my experience at yesterday’s event as well as the coverage it received (from both the Main and “Side” Stream Media).

Detractors (on all sides) will focus on the negative aspects of how the event, its organizers, and attendees will affect them or their agenda. I choose to focus on the positive aspects (such as the spotlight on faith and honor) as well as identify bridges that can be built with those who may have a different perspective.

Most of us agree, but many are afraid to say this due to potential blowback: August 28th does not belong to any individual, group, or race. It doesn’t belong to Al Sharpton, the NAACP, Alveda King, Glenn Beck, or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It belongs to the social fabric of “all that is right with America.” Dr. King, an inspiration to millions, was a product of the American principles and values that have provided hope all over the world. America is not just a destination, it is also an idea; an experiment. This experiment is not without its painful scars that we dare not forget. But to advance the dream that Dr. King shared with us all, we must focus again on what makes us great, such as honor, character, integrity, and principles.

Some of the sweetest victories over injustice were brought about by solutions that created new (sometimes difficult to grasp) problems. Regrettably, we’ll never be afforded the chance to know if our scars would have been healed without the power of Federal force (for example: a Constitutional solution of implementing Frederick Douglas’ vision of electing men who “deny that the Constitution guarantees the right to hold property in man” into office to “use their powers for the abolition of slavery”).

In spite of the many differing opinions on how solutions to challenges were employed throughout our history, we can choose to celebrate the positive aspects of our nation’s journey; such as the courageous men and woman who worked tirelessly and selflessly to peacefully bring rights to those affected by grave injustices as well as their deep-seated faith that successfully guided them.

Hopefully all who attended the Restoring Honor event yesterday left with a measure of hope that citizens will focus inwardly, just as much as focusing on other important elements. Restoring honor in everyday life will be the cornerstone of our persevering through the tumultuous times that lay ahead.

Early in the Restoring Honor program, Deb Argel-Bastian spoke about how her son (a special ops officer who died in Iraq in 2005) came to the realization of the importance of honor and keeping a promise at a very early age. Last night I drew upon the content of her speech and applied it in a hopefully meaningful life-lesson for my oldest son. We had a conversation about the importance of character and honor and how this woman’s son grasped these concepts, to which my son listened intently. I’ve since made a commitment to continue giving him every tool available to become the “next George Washington or Thomas Jefferson”, should he make that decision on his own. Additionally, in our highly divided culture, it is the responsibility of us all to provide an example of honor, regardless of worldview and political agenda, so that our posterity will know what to emulate during their own turbulent challenges they will face.

One of the readings at a church service I attended in early August was Genesis 18:20-32, to which I instantly associated with the state of our society. Do we have at least ten righteous people and an “Abraham” who will negotiate our nation’s saving grace? I pray that we do and that our sons and daughters will rise to the challenge when their time comes; I believe they’ll have a fighting chance as long as we properly equip them with honor.

Joshua is the co-host of The Forgotten Men radio show Saturdays at 12 noon, Eastern, on AM930 WFMD – and the co-founder of We Surround Them Frederick.


  1. The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

    There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are. (MORE)

  2. @Terrance:
    First - although people who participate in TEA Party events around the country where in attendance, Saturday's Restoring Honor rally wasn't a TEA Party event (regardless of how it was covered).
    Second - a common misconception is that the TEA Party is one massive group of people; it's not. TEA Party events are held all around the country primarily by individuals in those areas. That said, yes there are groups (mainly at the national level) who have connected with groups like AFP. Our group in my area has chosen to stay entirely independent, as have many other the groups that I’m in contact with.

  3. Saturday was truly an amazing event. It gave me chills to think how awesome America is that we even had the ability to stand among our fellow Patriots (and those beautiful monuments) raising our voices peacefully.

    The media may say what they want about "racism" and "anger", but I could not have been more impressed by the pure happiness, hope and politeness of the crowd. All of those people and I saw no pushing or shoving plus I heard more Thank yous than I have heard in a long time.

    If we can all realize that there is something bigger than just ourselves, that if we reflect inwardly on our Faith it will unite us together and help us to preserve all the things that make this country phenomenal.

    I know that I left with a renewed sense of hope for our Country, but more importantly for my son. I can raise him with a sense of patriotism, faith, integrity and teach him to be a leader. I pray that I can give him all the skills he needs to hopefully be "the next George Washington or Thomas Jefferson".

    It certainly was a moment in my life that I will never forget. Thinking about saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the National Anthem with all of those people brings tears to my eyes even now.

  4. As for the numbers on 8/28 I believe Glenn said the reflecting pool area holds about 250k and the lawn to the one side holds another 200k. Of course this doesn't account for those back on the lawn by the Washington Monument, and on the outsides of the pool and lawn areas. There were people over under the trees near the Korean Memorial as well. I think 5-600k is not a far-fetched number, and may even be a little low.

  5. Well said Joshua. Saturday was an amazing day. I will continue to bring my children to the events so that they have this imprint of kindness, generousity, respect, and peaceful action emblazoned upon their memories. The past year and a half has taught my teenagers that at LEAST hundreds of thousands of people are this way. Now when they see actual bitter, angry, nasty people they are struck by the contrast. It sticks out to them as something garish and small minded. I will continue to place them in the midst of big hearted people full of integrity. The only ugliness we encountered was on our return trip to the metro station- a woman sneered at us, glared, and then bitingly asked "Where the H*ll are your pointed white hats?!" It took my daughters quite by surprise.

    Wonderful, huge, inspiring event. I'm so glad everyone came. The media will never get it right. And as for what's-his-name who claims sugar daddy's are bankrolling "the tea party"...have you taken a look at the Progressives/Liberals AT ALL or is that mirror just too glaring? Like Joshua pointed out, what you (and everyone outside of "the Tea party") just doesn't get is that we are NOT one big group of people that have joined "THE tea party". The TEA PARTY was simply a phrase adopted in the early stages of all the movement to describe all of those unified in the same basic effort. We are not all the same political or ethnic or religious background and there is NO group of people giving us any kind of marching orders. If there are wealthy people who also believe in this movement and are contributing money to the efforts, that does NOT change that millions of us who are NOT wealthy are extremely motivated to take our own time and make meager monetary contributions because WE BELIEVE in this movement. EVEN if you took EVERY SINGLE "Extrordinarily WEALTHY" person OUT of the your dismay this movement would continue to gain strength. It is WE THE PEOPLE that are doing this, not some small group of rich white guys who are salivating for more power.

  6. The event is not measured by the numbers who attend or present; it is measured by those who attend; People of all ages and skin shades who came together to realize they are not alone. In today's time with television and mass media we can believe our position is one out of sync with today. Events like Saturday show we are not alone, we are a force that can still redirect this Nation back to it's foundation. The true question is will we take this moment from the day into the next and share it with our neighbor? We always talk about the Sunday Christian; will you be the 8/28 Patriot or the everyday Patriot? If the later then with the election in front of us check out all candidates running for each and every office from US Senator to Board of Education; our Nation is in our hands, We the People's hands.

  7. Thanks Josh. Nice letter on Reflections from a good Dad.I'd like to have Deb Argel-Bastian's talk. Her son was an incredible boy. It made her loss painful to hear. Let me know if you find it.

    Beck is so misunderstood by the MSM. The spiritual aspect to 8-28 was as much a stand against the Progressive Movement for the 1st Amendment's Freedom of Religion as any 2nd Amendment fight to preserve our right to bear arms. As Beck points out over and over...words have meaning and the Progressives slowly steal our rights with new words and definitions such as Freedom to Worship instead of Freedom of Religion.

  8. Mark,
    I was there on 8/28, but I had a slightly different take on the event...

    Great post!