Residents Speak Out at Tea Party Event
More than 200 Moore County residents gathered Saturday to express their love for America and speak out against the current political climate in Washington.
Moore TEA Citizens - a local organization related to the national "Tea Party" movement that has swept the country - held a "town hall" meeting at Pinehurst Village Hall. In addition to people speaking their minds about the direction of the country under the Obama administration, the event fostered discussions on health-care reform and carbon cap-and-trade.
The attendees also sang patriotic songs and enjoyed live music from the Ingram Band, which played several folk classics.
"We can do this," said John Oltesvig, one of the moderators, "but we must be willing to sacrifice like George Washington and the Continental Army, and fight for what is right. We must turn this situation around so that our grandchildren can inherit the American dream."
Oltesvig showed off his patriotic spirit by dressing as a Revolutionary War-era general.
Dr. Jim Taylor, an anesthesiologist, led the discussion on health-care reform, while Charlie Holbrook, a geologist, talked about cap-and-trade.
Other speakers included Pinehurst Mayor George Lane, State Sen. Harris Blake and State Rep. Jamie Boles.
"Folks, we've got to get involved, and you've got to get involved, and it starts with your local level," Boles said. "It starts with the school board. It starts with the city council. It starts with the county, and it starts with the planning board. And if you're not happy with what's going on, you have got to get involved."
The end of the program included a "lightning round" in which anyone who felt compelled could address the group for three minutes. Most of the speakers expressed outrage with the Obama administration and Congress, and genuine concern about the future of the country.
TEA Citizens Town Hall
These photos were taken at the "town hall' meeting held Saturday by Moore TEA Citizens, a local organization related to the national "Tea Party" movement that has swept the country. It took place at Pinehurst Village Hall.
They also made a point to credit Moore TEA Citizens for its work.
"This Tea Party that was organized to try to counter some of the disturbing opening acts of this administration has really done something fundamentally important," Pinehurst resident John Marcum said. "It has tried to counter this trend toward socialism and even, perhaps in the future, totalitarian forms of government that are absolutely antithetical to our Constitution and our way of life.
"So, again, I think the Tea Party has provided a very, very useful service in its short period of existence."
The town hall was the latest event organized by Moore TEA Citizens, which has grown by leaps and bounds in less than a year. What began as a small, three-person operation now has more than 1,200 members.
Moore TEA Citizens entered the public spotlight last April by holding a "Tax Day" event outside the Southern Pines post office. Organizers hoped to attract a couple of hundred people, but when all was said and done, about 1,000 lined the streets wearing red, white and blue and holding up signs that called for a return to limited -government and more transparency.
"TEA" stands for "Taxed Enough Already" and is a nod to the historic Boston Tea Party, a catalyst to the American Revolution.
Coordinator Dee Park said that fire code prevented more than 225 people from entering Assembly Hall at Village Hall at once, and estimated that 150 people had to be turned away Saturday. The event lasted for more than three hours.
Park said she was thrilled with the turnout and the discussion that took place.
"Over, and over, and over again, Americans are speaking out," she said.
Her husband, Bro, added, "Nothing was better than the spirit today. People were helpful, they were participating. They were just wonderful with everything that went on."
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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