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Sightseeing on the National Mall: Glenn Beck Edition

Today, I wandered down to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally. Here's a visual chronicle of my experience:

The Mall was packed. I won't get into the pseudo-science of crowd estimation, but as you can see above, the crowd was quite large, generally filling the space from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial. More people spilled out onto the area around the Washington Monument, but by then, the crowd had begun to thin.

A man grabs a brief respite at the World War II Memorial.

A steady crowd of people filed past the Vietnam War Memorial. The overwhelming majority were respectful, but some rally attendees apparently missed the irony of walking on parts of the memorial usually considered off limits and climbing all over the World War II memorial to get a better view of an event allegedly dedicated to honoring our military.

Most people heeded Beck's request not to bring signs. There were some exceptions, however. "Don't Tread On Me" flags were quite popular as well, perhaps in part thanks to the dozens of budding entrepreneurs selling them.

A small contingent of counterprotesters got some attention from rally attendees. The situation seemed peaceful if a bit tense, but later in the day, the guy on the left allegedly had his sign ripped from his hands, reports the Washington Post.

The event did have a heavy police presence, but as I said above, the scene appeared fairly calm--the worst threat was actually dehydration. This police surveillance tower looks quite imposing.

Abe Lincoln in the house. On the back of this woman's shirt were references to MLK and the phrase "equal justice, not social justice." I'm not quite sure that's what Dr. King had in mind.

Nothing says grassroots organization like a mass-produced t-shirt paid for by a group funded by the Koch brothers!