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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students rally for troops, Bush

With American forces continuing their advance toward Baghdad, students gathered at the Academic Plaza Wednesday night to show their support for the troops and for President George W. Bush.
“Throughout our country’s history, every member of the armed forces and every president of the United States has sworn the same oath: that they would defend the United States from all enemies both foreign and domestic. We are here tonight to give profound thanks to all who have kept this oath, no matter the cost,” said organizer Becky Jacobs, a senior political science major.
A crowd of more than 100 students and community members waved flags, sang patriotic songs and burned red, white and blue candles.
“Right now there are troops — Americans and Iraqis — fighting for their lives. Should we feel guilty for the circumstances we were blessed with? My opinion is no, but because we were blessed, we have a responsibility,” said Zac Coventry, student body president and a senior agricultural development major.
Americans have a responsibility to support the troops and Bush through prayer, Coventry said.
While speakers acknowledged the right of antiwar demonstrators to protest the war, they pointed out that the armed forces protect that right.
Organizers said that the rally would give a voice to supporters of the war who are often overshadowed by peace demonstrations.
“We wanted to show that there is a silent majority out there that is breaking the silence to show support for our troops as well as our president,” Jacobs said. “We love our freedom and we want the Iraqi people to have that same freedom.”
Members of the local chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars also attended the rally.
John Velasquez, commander of the VFW chapter and a Vietnam veteran, also addressed the rally, saying it is the obligation of all Americans to support the troops.
“Today the men and women who are out there in the Persian Gulf, in a foreign and hostile land, are not playing a game,” Velasquez said. “Think about how they would feel if they turned on a television and saw people protesting. What they would love to see when they turn on their TV is us out here supporting them.”
The A&M chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas has organized a pro-war rally set to begin Sunday at 1 p.m. The group will meet at O.R. Simpson Drill Field and march to the Academic Plaza.

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