August 27, 2005
Local Republicans and other concerned citizens held a rally in support of the troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan in downtown Staunton today, and over 100 people attended in spite of the steady rain. The words of the speakers were often drowned out by the noise of honking car horns by drivers expressing their support. The featured speaker was Rhonda Winfield, mother of fallen Marine Lance Corporal Jason Redifer, who died in Iraq on January 31. She spoke very eloquently and forcefully about what her son's loss means to her, pointing out that Jason at least lived long enough to know that the Iraqi elections were held successfully. She let it be known loud and clear that she "gets it": Her son's blood was part of the price paid so that the Iraqi people can live freely and choose their own leaders, so that the terrorist movement will die out as more and more Arabs and Muslims learn that they can live a better life without violence. She also said that she understands the pain that Cindy Sheehan is feeling but made it clear that she sharply disagrees with her opinions and actions. Ms. Winfield's other other son, Justin Redifer, has also joined the Marines, taking up his brother's place in the line of duty.
Between speeches, the names of local servicemen and women were read, and several of the folks in the crowd carried signs with photos of their loved ones who are serving their country in its time of greatest need. The derisive epithet "chickenhawk" would carry no weight around here! This earnest expression of patriotism in small town "red state" America would probably be scorned and ridiculed by most of the elitists who run the mainstream media, but it does remind us of a vital fact: Inasmuch as the war against Islamo-fascist extremism is a contest of wills between two civilizations, the real battlefront is right here at home. If a majority of American people keep the faith, the good guys will win. It really is as simple as that.
On Friday a group of about 10-20 anti-war protesters gathered at the same spot. By all acounts, the reaction from passing motorists was deafening silence. Bad news for the enemies of freedom!