the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 15, 2005

Freedom Walk Description Changes


AltHippo has pointed out that the Pentagon plans to have another Freedom Walk next year as a much bigger deal, covering every state — and coincidentally at the height of the 2006 midterm election campaign. I remembered seeing that shortly after I posted my previous Freedom Walk piece, and I thought it had been in the list of questions on the “About the Walk” page, but looking just now I couldn’t find the passage.

Fortunately I was able to use the Google cache to confirm what I remembered. I think I’m going to start making frequent copies of the Freedom Walk site, since I’ve noticed some changes and I imagine there’ll be a few more. I’ll go over the changes below.

The original text about next year’s event was in this answer (emphasis added):

Q: Why is DoD organizing this event?
R: Since September 11, 2001, the Pentagon has provided citizens with opportunities to commemorate September 11 in meaningful ways. The America Supports You Freedom Walk is the fourth September 11 commemorative activity sponsored by the DoD. The goal for the 5th anniversary in 2006 is for each state to host a Freedom Walk in order to provide an opportunity for as many citizens as possible to reflect on the importance of freedom.

But now the text has been changed to this:

Q8 Why is DoD organizing this event?
A8: Every year since Sept. 11, 2001, the Department of Defense has organized a commemoration for our victims’ families, for our victims, for the Pentagon employees and for the volunteers who were there that day helping us and for our men and women in the military. This year we have organized the America Supports You ‘FREEDOM WALK’ to pay tribute to those groups. It’s a way for people in the D.C. area to recognize what happened that day, to reflect on that and to commemorate our victims, their families and our American service men and women, both past and present.

No more mention of next year, and it’s been rewritten to make it seem to be purely a memorial event for those who died at the Pentagon (plus a bit about those in the military in general). Not sure how the Clint Black celebration fits in there.

Another answer that’s been substantially rewritten is the first one. Old version:

Q: What is the America Supports You Freedom Walk?
R: The America Supports You Freedom Walk is an event on September 11 that allows citizens the opportunity to remember the victims of September 11, honor our veterans past and present, and celebrate our freedom.

New version:

Q1: What is the America Supports You Freedom Walk?
A1: The America Supports You ‘FREEDOM WALK’ is an event on September 11 that allows citizens the opportunity to remember the victims of September 11, honor our American servicemen and women past and present, and commemorate our freedom.

The America Supports You ‘FREEDOM WALK’ is a walk of remembrance and support. Remembrance of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, and support of the many American men and women in uniform past and present who protect the freedom the walk is commemorating.

Again the revised version sounds much more like a memorial service. They even changed “celebrate our freedom” into “commemorate our freedom” even though that would mean that our freedom is dead.

The text about Clint Black has been moved into a new question, which also introduces a new aspect to the event:

Q4: What other events are associated with the ASY Freedom Walk?
A4: Prior to the FREEDOM WALK the Pentagon will be holding a private ceremony for the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. Immediately following the FREEDOM WALK, country superstar singer and songwriter Clint Black will hold a concert on the Pentagon Mall.

They’ve added a private ceremony for victims’ families. Now that’s a perfectly appropriate event, but was it part of the original plan? Does it fit in with a parade of College Republican yahoos coming in from across the country? In any case, adding that ceremony does make opposing the propaganda event considerably trickier.

So the Pentagon strategy seems to be to play up the memorial part of the event, play down the pro-war part, and hope that when the freepers show up on September 11 they don’t make it into too much of an embarrassment.


  1. You know, if there was even a threat of some sort of liberal counter-rally, whether it were to actually happen or not, the tighty-righties would be more prone to show up all gung-ho and ready to insult liberals, carrying signs and acting embarrassing. Just a thought. They are an easily riled up bunch.

    —hastings • 12:16 am, August 16

  2. Lipsticking a pig…

    —The Baculum King • 12:18 am, August 16

  3. Biggest damn opportunity to shame these people and make folks think about what is really happening that has occurred.

    What are you all doing on September 11?

    I’m thinking about a Celebrate USA campaign that involves Sept. 11, but more importantly celebrates those things that do (or did) make us a unique and wonderful country.

    Like…freedom of the press, due process, congressional oversight, accountability, remorse, volunteerism, sacrifice, and a duty to ensure that what comes next is better than what came before.



    —abjectfunk • 12:51 am, August 16

  4. The goal for the 8th anniversary, in 2009, is to be prepared to storm the White House and Capitol, if they are occupied by Democrats or other unAmerican undesirables.

    Larry12:55 am, August 16

  5. Forget protests, how about hundreds of mock military recruitment booths along the parade route?

    “Looking for able-bodied men and women who support the war in Iraq to go fight it.”

    —cramer • 1:46 am, August 16

  6. “I will never feel the same level of pain and loss you do. I didn’t lose anyone close to me, a member of my family or someone that I love.”

    So Bush admits no soldier sailor airman or marine is close to him, and that he loves none of them, in his newseek prochimperor facial piece about meeting ‘unscreened’ families/survivors.

    —Mr.Murder • 1:54 am, August 16

  7. abjectfunk,

    You think due process, freedom of the press,accountability,parliamentary oversight, remorse, volunteerism and sacrifice are uniquely american?

    You’re probably dumb enough to be a Clint Black fan.

    —Pastor Tobin Maker • 1:56 am, August 16

  8. I think it would be great to go, be near the front, and drop UFPJ 9.24 rally stickers everywhere along the route.

    just saying, watching all those bad backs on the 101st keyboarders as they bend over en masse, cursing at the sidewalk and mailboxes. Then again, I could just go to the Free Republic to see that.

    mdhatter2:19 am, August 16

  9. WaPo Pulls Support for “Freedom March”

    Much carping has gone on about the Washington Post’s support of a Pentagon-organized march on Washington on the grounds that it showed media bias. The Washington Post has since pulled its support from the event. The Washington Post announced toni…

    Janus Online2:21 am, August 16

  10. Commemorating our freedom? The Pentagon Mall? Who’s in charge of this nascent fiasco, Jenna and Tonic?

    —roxtar • 4:43 am, August 16

  11. I am waiting for the two minute TV commercials hawking the newly minted 9/11 Fourth Anniversary ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ gold medallions for 3 easy payments of $167.00, or something like that.

    —EFJ • 6:25 am, August 16

  12. “Every year since Sept. 11, 2001, the Department of Defense has organized a commemoration for our victims’ families, for our victims, for the Pentagon employees and for the volunteers who were there that day helping us and for our men and women in the military.”

    OUR victims? Does that mean they’ll be having one of these for the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died as a result of our invasion?

    Poppy McCool7:28 am, August 16

  13. […] eedom.

    So now, I guess, every day is Freedom Walk day.

    And the DCDL blog has noticed they’re tinkering with the “Freedom Walk” web site. (via Atrios) As s […]

    Catch -- -- Blogging Hardcore from New York City7:36 am, August 16

  14. cramer,
    re: recruitment booths
    Great idea but I think you meant to say ‘the war in Iran’ ?
    Only half kidding.
    Alternate idea: Lobby Pentagon to set up *real* recruitment booths.
    Monitor booths to see how many sign up.

    —cj51 • 7:54 am, August 16

  15. The best counter move would be to have a “Justice for Bin Ladin Now” march, starting at the World Trade Center.

    —Maureen Hay • 9:31 am, August 16

  16. I think the mock recruitment booths are a great idea. Of course, what would be better would be REAL recruitment booths–these chickenhawks should put their money where their mouth is.

    —theorajones • 10:14 am, August 16

  17. No joke, Maureen. How’s about a real counter-rally: “America wants bin Laden’s head on a Stick” Freedom March.

    With thousands of signs: “Mr. President, where is Osama?” “Mr. Rumsfeld, where is Osama?” “NYC Demands Osama!”

    —theorajones • 10:21 am, August 16

  18. I’m not sure about the recruitment booths. I imagine there will be a significant number of veterans in the walk along with the chickenhawks flying in.

    In any case, any counterdemonstration needs to be dignified. Any disruptive behavior is likely to reflect badly on our side in the media — even if we don’t start it, since media organizations are sponsoring the event. Remember that the Pentagon is trying to make this into a funeral now, so we don’t want to end up looking like Fred Phelps. Maybe if we can manage to do something silent?

    Keith10:24 am, August 16

  19. I think we need a “America thinks you’re full of crap” FREEDOM MARCH on the next anniversary
    for the buildup of the war - Like Powell’s UN presentation, or the first time Condi invoked a
    Mushroom Cloud, or some such. We could have it take place in every city across the nation,
    where marchers would go to the nearest Republican Headquarters and pelt it with bags of dog
    crap. In Washington, marchers would throw bags of crap directly onto the white house lawn.

    —Mysticdog • 10:29 am, August 16

  20. The Bush Regime is behind 9/11.

    They are celebrating what has worked SO well for them.

    (Lousy bastards!)

    —Terry C • 10:36 am, August 16

  21. Good catch on the commemorate freedom phrasing.

    American Freedom
    Born: July 4th, 1776
    Died: December 12th, 2000

    Drowned in the bathtub by 5 Supreme Court “justices”

    George Johnston11:25 am, August 16

  22. You know the idea of having an alternative event on September 11 is not a bad one.

    Not a counter-event, but something like a barbecue or pot luck to celebrate the end of using 9.11 as a tool to justify preemptive war.

    —AltHippo • 11:29 am, August 16

  23. Chicken Hawks on Parade. Please there must be a independent videographer out there somewhere
    who will get the parade on tape. Chicken hawks pissy drunk on the mall.

    Jerri12:27 pm, August 16

  24. out of curiousity, is there any other nation that celebrates a national day of horror with a concert? i mean, this thing is in incredibly poor taste. as it stood before, a protest may have been reasonable. but if it’s more of a memorial, even if it’s just a swine lipsticking as suggested, don’t counter it. don’t protest it. let’s not forget what actually happenned on that day. it should be a day of national unity if anything. though, continue to counter the concept of a disgusting diplay. and counter the failures that have left many of the perpetrators free.

    d12:33 pm, August 16

  25. Freedom freedom freedom OY!
    Freedom freedom freedom OY!

    Happy Freedom Day!

    —garth • 1:10 pm, August 16

  26. What’s the latest on registration to participate in the “freedom walk”?

    —John • 4:10 pm, August 16

  27. “They even changed “celebrate our freedom” into “commemorate our freedom” even though that would mean that our freedom is dead.”

    Hey, at least they’re being honest, right?

    Kiva Oraibi4:53 pm, August 16

  28. How is “Our Leader” supposed to feel like a big man if he don’t see no pro-war-prezznit parades? –besides the whole “lots of folks are dying ‘cuz I say so” thing…?

    (Dubya sure does like executin’ folks. Sometimes he even makes fun of ‘em after they been kilt. if y’all don’t believe my word, how about Tucker Carlson’s? - yeah, the same decidedly non-liberal “reporter” and pundit Tucker Carlson that had a show on CNN. point yer browser at

    Repubnoxious3:33 am, August 17

  29. Did they really mean to say this: “commemorate our victims, their families…”

    America’s victims… who might they be? Iraqis, Afghanis,…

    Eoin9:14 am, August 17

  30. Maybe folks could start a “Drunken Rednecks for Bush!” brigade to pose as Bush supporters. Then they could throw up, urinate in public, shout “Kill all liberals!” and “Nuke Iran!” and “War IS The Answer!” and march goosestep.

    I’d support them all the way.

    —Vanna LaRoche • 5:51 pm, August 19

  31. Vanna, I’m more worried about the reverse. A bunch of people like Communists for Kerry (who were sometimes taken for a real group by the media) or Protest Warriors — or even some genuine idiots from the left (they do exist, after all) — showing up with inappropriate signs and behavior while a bunch of families of 9/11 victims walk by, prompting a bunch of anti-left news coverage.

    Keith6:41 pm, August 19

  32. Last Trace of “Celebration” Disappears From “Freedom Walk” Site

    The Pentagon has been so eager to avoid the idea that the September 11 Freedom Walk is celebratory (as the original descriptions suggested) that it actually changed “celebrate our freedom” into “commemorate our freedom” on the …

    DCDL12:45 am, August 25

  33. HUD Joins Freedom Walk Promotion

    With the administration’s post-Katrina blame-the-victims, blame-Louisiana, blame-New-Orleans PR efforts in full swing, it’s hard to know whether the Pentagon’s “America Supports You” Freedom Walk on September 11 will be i…

    DCDL10:59 am, September 7

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