Saturday’s Restoring Honor Rally featured a number of concepts, among them faith, hope, charity, sacrifice, unity, the power of one person, as well as honoring existing and future heroes. I’d like to add another one: size. As in, the size of the audience was somewhat overwhelming.
As an example, I’ll use my trip to the event. I was running a little late, so I decided to take a taxi. I’m glad I did, because as I approached the memorial the car passed by a huge crowd walking there on both sides of the street. For me, it was already clear that this was going to be a major event.
The question is, did Glenn Beck do what he set out to do: restore honor to America? I believe the answer is yes, but it will take a while.
Beck used Restoring Honor to recognize soldiers and other Americans who have sacrificed for their communities and their country. Merit badges were awarded to these heroes for their selfless acts, whether it is leading troops while severely wounded, as Eddie Wright did, or pledging to donate $2 billion to charity, as John Huntsman has pledged to do.
Beck went further. Explaining that heroes were simply normal people that do things other people don’t want to do, he challenged his audience to become heroes themselves and said that people must look to themselves to make a difference.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that people don’t need inspiration, and for that all the speakers featured at the event asked the audience to turn to God and rely on divine providence to show them the way to help move America forward.
So did Beck’s message resonate? As an atheist, I know it didn’t work quite as well with me. I can get on board with the points about hope, charity, and sacrifice, but I’m just not going to turn to God for guidance about how to do those things.
That said, I know that a majority of people do look upwards, so I believe the message resonated fully with the faithful in the audience. However, if we are to be successful in the effort to take back the country, it will take all kinds. Even us atheists have faith in something, even if it’s not a deity. I get my inspiration from the promise of America itself, so that is what I’ll use to take my part in restoring it.
It will not be easy to move the country forward, but if we commit ourselves to sacrifice and charity, and throw in a little hope and faith, future generations will indeed, as Beck says, find themselves in a freer country.