I know that a few US Army paratroopers and Marines from the Viet Nam war will be there at the Wall. If there's one thing, aside from love of country, that they share, it's knowing how to fight when surrounded.
1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.
2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.
3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they-and the heroes they honor-deserve.
4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.
5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.
6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.
7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to "support the troops but not the war." We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation's uniform.
8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson's assertion that "From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.
10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation. We will be silent no more.
Silent no more!
I will see the Eagles as they ride from San Francisco to Washington, DC, as they pause on March 14th at the CNN Building in Atlanta.
As the Marines say: Semper Fi (Always Faithful)