- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 23, 2006

Backers of the war on terrorism rallied on the Mall yesterday for the second annual Support the Troops and Their Mission Weekend in Washington.

A crowd estimated at between 70 and 100 people waved U.S. and military flags as they listened to speeches by family members of soldiers and representatives of groups such as FreeRepublic.com, the sponsor of the rally; Project 21; and Military Families Voice of Victory.

Kristinn Taylor, co-founder and spokesman for the D.C. chapter of Free Republic, moderated the event, which honored Gold Star and Blue Star families.

“The myth is that we’ve all come together after 9/11, which isn’t entirely true,” he said. “The left [wing] is the left. It will always attack America first, will always blame America first, will always work with our enemies to bring down America.

“So, we made a vow that we would not allow the anti-American left to do to this country and this generation of our military what they did to them during Vietnam, and we’ve kept that vow for five years now,” he said.

Mychal Massie, a member of Project 21, a network of black conservatives, agreed.

U.S. troops “place service to America before service to themselves, realizing that service to America is indeed service to us all,” Mr. Massie said. “They need to know that we support their families, their friends and, most of all, their children. …Tomorrow’s freedom rests on their [children’s] shoulders.”

Richard August of North Kingstown, R.I., whose son, Matthew, was an Army captain killed in Iraq two weeks before his 29th birthday in 2004, said he doesn’t regard his son’s death as a tragedy.

“My son died in the service of his country,” he said. “He and eight other soldiers of his company died during their deployment because, in my son’s words, they were in Iraq trying to help the majority of Iraqi people overcome the brutal effects of a dictator’s rule over 30 years.

“Theirs were not tragic deaths. Theirs were noble deaths,” he said.

Richard Linn of Chesterfield, Va., said his son, Lance Cpl. Karl R. Linn, 20, was killed with three others from his unit in January 2005 in an ambush in Iraq’s Anbar province.

“One thing Karl and I agreed on was, despite whatever reasons we’ve got [for being] over there, that the only thing to do was to finish the job correctly,” he said. “And to that end, I support our efforts, and I support our troops to this day.”

Leo Flood of Fort Hood, Texas, who has a son in the Navy, said he opens his home and his wallet to all military members whom his son brings home to visit.

“We shouldn’t even have to be here,” he said of the rally. “It should be an automatic assumption that we support our troops and their mission in any way, shape, form or fashion.”

Evan Sayet, a comedian and political commentator, said he was a liberal until he witnessed their reaction to September 11, which he said ultimately showed their disloyalty to the country when they railed against the war.

“The left rejects fact, reason and logic as an act of bigotry,” he said. “How do they think they’re making a better world by siding wholly with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success?”

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