When: 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Where: The National Press Club
First Amendment Lounge
529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20045
Who: Larry Bailey, Co-Chairman, Gathering of Eagles
Ted Shpak, National Legislative Director, Rolling Thunder
Jeff Roy, National Junior Vice Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Spokesmen for three veterans organizations which are urging their members to rally in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2007, to protect the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) from antiwar protesters will be holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, February 22, 2007, at the National Press Club to announce their plans to protect The Wall and rally for America’s servicemen and women serving in Iraq.
Word has been spreading like wildfire across the country in the veterans’ community about the plans of an anti-American group to hold an antiwar rally on Saturday, March 17, 2007 at, according to their announcement, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Constitution Gardens.)
The Gathering of Eagles was formed by Vietnam veterans to protect the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from being desecrated as the Capitol was at an antiwar march last month. While there is no way to accurately gauge attendance, it is expected that thousands of veterans, their families and other patriotic Americans will gather that day to protect The Wall and other war memorials. In addition to Rolling Thunder and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, participants in the Gathering of Eagles rally include Move America Forward, which is organizing a cross-country caravan that will bring Gold and Blue Star parents and veterans to the Gathering of Eagles, and FreeRepublic.com.
1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.
2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.
3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they–and the heroes they honor–deserve.
4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.
5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.
6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.
7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to “support the troops but not the war.” We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.
8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.
10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation. We will be silent no more.
When: March 17th, 2007
Assemble from 0700 and 1000.
Where: The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, Washington D.C.
Why: To stand silent guard over our nation's memorials, in honor of our fallen, and in solidarity with our armed forces in harm's way today.