Rohan Beasley attended Glenn Beck's rally in Washington, D.C., Saturday because he came from a country "where socialism is present and (he's) concerned with America's future."
Originally from Australia, the 42-year-old Beasley, along with his wife, Katie, of Carlisle, Cumberland County, are supporters of the Fox News personality and were interested in attending the Restoring Honor rally "in support of getting America back on track."
"I agree with Beck's message of waking up the country and getting back in line with the Founding Fathers' ideals," Beasley said. "America is going in its own direction, and it needs to stop."
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the conservative broadcaster, Beck, told the tens of thousands of activists he drew from around the nation Saturday that the U.S. has too long "wandered in darkness."
American message: The overall message driven by Beck in his three-hour rally, according to Lori Wampler, 46, of West York, was "we, Americans, need to bring God back into our country and our individual lives."
Wampler, along with her partner, Eric Kauffman, said they attended "the once in a lifetime event" not knowing what the expect, but left "inspired and restored."
Beasley, however, said although he doesn't believe in God, he agreed that bringing religion back into America is just one element of restoring the beliefs of our nation's Founding Fathers.
Beck, along with his marquee speaker Sarah Palin, spoke from the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 47 years ago. Some civil rights leaders who have denounced Beck's choice of a venue staged a rival rally to honor King.
"There were so many people at Beck's rally, it was very peaceful and encouraging to see so many people," Wampler said, noting she had no problem with the fact Beck held the rally on the anniversary of King's speech.
"Beck's message didn't conflict with King's message at all, I actually think it complemented his speech" she said.
Similarly, Beasley agreed that the rally was very "peaceful and united," and he didn't notice many protestors.
"At the end of the rally, Beck had 250 people representing all religions on stage with their arms linked," he said. "It really represented the unity of the American people because when the people of all backgrounds can stand together, our country will be fine."
Among hundreds: Both Wampler and Beasley were among more than 500 individuals in attendance from the York County area.
York City-based Bailey Travel took nine coaches to the rally, transporting 454 people, said president John Bailey.
"If we had more buses available for the rally, they would have been filled," he said, noting the company's phone was ringing off the hook up until the last minute from York County people interested in attending the rally.
Red Lion Bus Co. president Dennis Warner said another 235 people headed to the rally in five chartered coaches from his company.
"I am so glad I was able to attend the event; it was a great experience for me, as a supporter of Beck, and as an American," Wampler said.
-- Reach Lauren Whet zel at 505-5433 or lwhetze firstname.lastname@example.org.