Beck: 'America Today Begins to Turn Back to God'

They came for God and they came for honor.

But mostly, the members of all armed forces, young families, teenagers sporting Eminem and Rolling Stones T-shirts, the disabled in wheelchairs, and folks from as far away as California, came to the Lincoln Memorial for Glenn Beck.

But tens of thousands came, probably hundreds of thousands of people, no one knows for sure because the National Park Service has refused to enter the delicate fray that is the attendance number of Washington political rallies that determines its success.

Beck had a permit for 300,000 for his “Restoring Honor” rally, but he told the crowd it appeared as if a half million people had turned out for what was more of a revival of honor.

Although inspired by a television personality who is often political and can ignite a media firestorm with the turn of any phrase regarding President Barack Obama, Saturday afternoon’s gathering was probably one of the most apolitical rallies Washington has ever seen.

“Today we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things we have accomplished and the things we can do tomorrow,” Beck said.

“For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Beck said. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

“I felt like I needed to do this for my family,” Rick Warren said. “To be part of restoring honor to this country.”

Gina Walker of Valencia, Calif., brought her children to the rally so they “could see how much people love America and are willing to sacrifice for her.”

Sarah Palin echoed her sentiments and told the crowd to “look around you, you are not alone.”

“It gives my children strength, to know they are not alone,” responded Regina Julander of Saugus, Calif.
The former Alaska governor and vice presidential contender did not speak as a politician, she said, but as the mother of a soldier who fought in the war against terrorism.

“I am proud of that distinction,” Palin said. “No woman gives birth thinking she will hand over her child to her country.”

The crowd shared her love for country, and shouted “USA, USA, USA,” as she concluded her remarks before the throngs of supporters that completely surrounded the Lincoln Memorial and reflection pools.

No one was carrying a political sign, only American flags and yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags dotted the landscape.

This reporter saw no anti-Obama signs or literature, and only a handful of protestors stood their ground with a giant poster depicting Martin Luther King as having a dream, and Beck as a nightmare.

Another lone protestor yelled “Glenn Beck is lying to us for profit.”

Attendees mostly ignored them or laughed.

The Rev. Al Sharpton told a small counter-protest that gathered in a nearby park, “Just because we got through the storm doesn’t mean we have arrived.”

Beck told the crowd, “rise above the hatred.”

And they did.

“It was peaceful, it was a success,” said Lori Warren of Lexington, Ky., who attended the rally with her husband, Rick.

“I felt like I needed to do this for my family,” Rick Warren said. “To be part of restoring honor to this country.”