Take back the memorial
We had the privilege of attending the take back the memorial demonstration. I wanted to share my impressions and get a little truth out there.
After driving in from Chicago we arrived early and were the first ones on site. The police were friendly and clearly supportive of the protest.
The 9-11 families and organizers began arriving around 8:45 and we had the opportunity to say hi and meet and greet a little.
There were general worries about attendance as the media (i.e. the New York Times) had been attempting to stop the protest before it began by suggesting it had been called off. No worries though, the crowd began building and before we knew it a couple of hundred people had joined us amidst the barricades.
The demonstration began on schedule and the speakers were eloquent. My favorite bit was when the Grey lady was mentioned and this hardcore bunch of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites booed loudly. I misted up during the singing of God bless America and I'll bet I wasn't the only one.
The demonstration ended on time and the crowd spent about a half an hour chatting before dispersing.
The crowd though passionate, was always respectful and minded every police instruction that I witnessed.
The 9-11 families and everyone else we met today could not have been more gracious.
People from all over the country attended, which really seemed to mean a lot to the 9-11 families. We talked to people from California, Ohio and Oklahoma city.
Our signs read 'We travelled from Chicago to say-no IFC' and we were approached repeatedly by 9-11 families and general members of the audience and thanked over and over again for taking the time to travel and attend. We need to let these folks know that people around the country care about this issue. They don't know that lots of people around the country are paying attention and care deeply.
That's about it. I found it an amazing experience. It was powerful and moving, honest and poignant.
I hope everyone will take the time to join the movement and sign the petition.
Here's some photos-
My wife Michelle will have a lengthier post on this tomorrow.