It was billed as a rallying call for spiritual and moral renewal. But some say the huge turnout in Washington DC for the “Restoring Honor” march underscores the political potency of the conservative movement in the US.
TV host Glenn Beck organised the controversial gathering. He told the crowd that the country had lost its way.
Some had ignored pleas not to bring political signs and banners.
47 years to-the-day and on the same spot where Martin Luther King Jr told HIS audience “I have a dream”, Sarah Palin drew comparisons:
“You have the same still spine and moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It is in you, it will sustain you as it sustained them. So with pride in the red, white and blue, with gratitude to our men and women in uniform, let’s stand together. Let’s stand with honor. Let’s restore America. God bless you and God bless America.”
Many here were members of the Tea Party, a grassroots conservative movement.
And, as the “Restoring Honor” event ended, a counter-rally began marching TO the National Mall for their own event.
It was organised by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton and was a smaller march, made up of trade union organisations and African-American groups among others.
Some had anticipated tension between the two, but the day passed off peacefully.