Local group Move America Forward supports the troops—and the War on Terror
Clad in an American flag-print tank top, a red leather jacket and gem-studded jeans, patriotic singer Diana Nagy kicked off Move America Forward’s 40-city Honoring our Heroes at the Holidays Tour with an inspired rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The crowd of about 200 people waved their plastic replicas of that banner high in the air as young uniformed Marines stood in line stoically watching the performance at William Land Park on November 13.
“We thank our troops and we thank our veterans,” Nagy said, eliciting cheers and applause. The tour’s official musician, Nagy said she got a call from MAF after they heard her sing “Where Freedom Flies,” a song written by her mother, who couldn’t sleep one night after seeing a newscast of protesters burning the American flag.
“These words just came to her,” Nagy said. “We knew that the world needed to hear this.”
Sacramento-based MAF is committed to supporting U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and is touring to collect 100,000 holiday greeting cards that will be delivered to the troops overseas at the end of this year.
“We’re doing cards and packages to send over to the troops for Christmas,” said MAF organizer Deborah Johns, a Blue Star Mom whose son has served three tours of duty in Iraq.
Yellow ribbons were plastered on the cars in the parking lot outside of Fairy Tale Town in William Land Park, where volunteer Bill McNab directed traffic with a “Pro-Troop Rally” sign and large American flag by his side. McNab, a Korean War veteran who said he was lucky to survive the conflict, said he is proud of the troops’ efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“When you go to war, you go to win,” McNab said. “It’s like playing football. You don’t send your second string in; you send the best team you got. I mean, I played football, so I know.”
Festooned with red, white and blue balloons and those waving plastic American flags, the event was reminiscent of a Fourth of July celebration. Freedom was the frequent theme of the event’s speakers.
“We recognize that the cost of our freedom is not free,” Debbie Lee, a Gold Star Mom who lost her son in Iraq, told the crowd. “It is with great respect and deep understanding that I speak to you today to honor each and every veteran that has served or is serving our great country. I understand and appreciate all who have given so much for me that I can enjoy my daily freedoms.”
Several tables were set up with holiday cards waiting to be signed. Linda Bruzzone of Vacaville, who has a son-in-law in the military, said she was excited about the Christmas-card project because it’s an easy way to show support for the troops.
“I feel that there is nothing more important than to get a word from home and a sound of support from home to show that we care about them and that they are not forgotten,” Bruzzone said.
Sacramento veteran Douglas Buck, who came to the event after hearing about it on talk radio, is ready for the Iraq debacle to end.
“Our politicians, both sides, have got to get off their butts and get in there and get this thing done,” Buck said. “In World War II we didn’t have that problem, we had people who got in there and fought for it and got it over with. This is a different kind of war. You can’t just go in and blow everyone up, but you ought to. Just get it over with.”
Some, like Linda Turner of Sacramento, think U.S. troops are making progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the media fail to report on any positive aspects.
“I think we should support our troops, they’re doing a wonderful job and unfortunately the media doesn’t seem to care,” Turner said.
She also believes it would be a mistake to give up on the war effort now.
“I think it would be a terrible idea to leave. The Muslims, they would see this as if they had defeated us and they would push on forward. It would be a sign of weakness by the United States,” Turner said.
According to William Mayer, editor and publisher of the right-leaning Web site www.pipelinenews.org, this type of support is necessary to buoy the morale of U.S. troops, especially in light of what he called “anti-military” media reports.
“I think we’re winning,” Mayer said. “It’s a war that we have to win.”