Let me begin by saying thank you for creating and staging your impressive “Restoring Honor” event yesterday in Washington DC. Dedicating a day to Faith, Hope and Charity along with honoring the sacrifices of our men and women in the military who sacrifice so much on our behalf.
A few personal thoughts on the event itself. Overall, I found the event uplifting and at times inspirational. I believe your intentions were honorable.
My take on what I think the event was about and what I took away:
The purpose of the event was…..
- To honor the sacrifice of our troops
- I have read, according to their website, over $5 million dollars was raised for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. This is a worthy charity that supports the children of fallen troops. Fantastic!
- To point out that we are missing honorable behavior and people in our country today.
- Too many people operate out of corrupt principles at all levels of leadership both within and outside of government
- We are notably missing examples of true heroes, especially in the private sector. (not that they do not exist, but they go unrecognized)
- To restore honor to our country through the assembled common principle of faith in a higher power
- While at times it was too heavily weighted on an evangelical Christian message, I believe that your point was that having a faith in God, whether you are Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or Hindu, is a bedrock of our society. Without faith in God, our country cannot survive as a free society
- At the closing, the black robe brigade with over 240 men and women of many faiths helped make that point.
- To honor people who are examples of faith, hope and charity and to hold them up as examples to follow.
- All three of your recipients of the “badges of merit” you offered were private citizens who demonstrated through their past examples, behavior worthy of emulation.
Was it a home run? Perhaps not, as at times, it seemed the execution was a little off and at times, it became too much about you and not enough about the causes you were trying to espouse. (I do not believe the focus on yourself was your intention as at times you looked a bit embarrassed at what some people said from the stage in their attempt to thank you for your leadership on this event). In addition, the crowd was not very diverse. It was mostly white, older and married. It would have been nice to have seen a more diverse crowd as the message was certainly applicable to anyone who claims themselves members of the human race regardless of their ethnicity, status or background.
Finally, a couple of comments about media crowd estimates. I have no idea how many people actually attended the event, however I will say it was MASSIVE, certainly more than I had ever seen at any event there in the mall. It was packed! My son and I arrived at the Metro at 7AM and the lines to get on the metro were already backed up the escalators into the upper wait area. A similar experience going home (and that was after we waited on the mall by the Lincoln memorial for at least an hour after the event was over.). Was it in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, I can not say. To me, it felt like I was there with 500,000 of my "closest friends". Whatever the number it was, it was HUGE!
Still, it was a noble effort and I am proud to live in a country where a private citizen can use his personal wealth and power to stage such an event. I believe that this would be in line with the principles of economist Milton Friedman, who was a strong advocate for the creation of private wealth and ownership as the best means to advance our society and to act as a counter-balance to the drift of government toward concentration of power and ultimately corruption.
Let Freedom Ring