Thousands rally in Valley Forge

By Leanne Pantone
March 20, 2003

Angelina Wagner

The roads along Route 23 from Valley Forge Park to the G-Lodge Restaurant in Phoenixville were lined with cars and pedestrians trying to make their way to Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge for a Rally for America.

The Pro-America Rally was organized to make sure that the troops know America is supporting them, the President and his administration. Cindie Tinsman, West Chester resident, felt strongly about coming to Valley Forge to show her patriotic spirit for the military and the families of its members. “We don’t want another Vietnam to happen. We want the troops to know we’re behind them.”

Philadelphia radio personality, Glenn Beck of AM 1210 organized the rally that attracted a crowd of more than 10,000. Among the activities of the day, which began officially at 1 p.m., was a very encouraging speech given by a decorated war hero, according to Albert Theriault of Collegeville.

People varied in age, from elders to families with children in strollers to college students, most coming out because they wanted to show their support for the American troops sent overseas.

Part of the huge crowd rallying at the Freedoms Foundation drifted to an area that they referred to as the “overflow” area, in front of the American Baptist Churches and the Valley Forge Business Center in Valley Forge. The atmosphere of this smaller crowd was just as passionate as they gravitated toward the road and fed off of the energy from the beeping and yelling cars as they drove past and showed their support.

“We are having a great time,” Eastern University alums Stephen and Sarah Crouth of New York said. “Everyone is very enthusiastic and we are getting a great reception from the traffic; they are honking and giving us the thumbs up sign.”

Corrin Runchka, a member of the Army Reserves, was in attendance to show her support for her fellow troops members.

“It is very exciting to be here. Some guy shook my hand and thanked me [for being a part of the Army Reserves],” she said. However, the most important reason that Runchka was rallying is because “the troops need to see positiviness so they do a better job while they are over there.”

According to Liz and Bill Brown of New Jersey, there was great morale throughout the day and “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

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Leanne Pantone

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