Area residents travel to D.C. to protest increasing national debt

September 12, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- More than 400 people from four states traveled Saturday from Hagerstown to Washington, D.C., joining thousands of others for the March on Washington, a rally protesting big government, both in spending and control.

"It was truly amazing," said Nancy Allen of Hagerstown.

Allen said she never felt the need to take part in a political demonstration before in her life.

"It is the control the government is trying to exercise over the people, To me, it is very threatening," Allen said. "I do see this as a (peaceful) revolution. I really do."

Allen said she left the demonstration "with a great sense of optimism."

Neil Parrott, organizer of the Hagerstown TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party, said a caravan of eight buses stopped to pick up people in LaVale, Md., Chambersburg, Pa., Martinsburg, W.Va., Winchester, Va., and Frederick, Md., as well as Hagerstown

Before the buses departed Saturday morning from Hagerstown, a press conference was held featuring U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md. Parrott also spoke to the group.


"Today, we will tell elected officials, we will tell the nation and we will tell the world that we care about our freedoms and we care about our nation," Parrott said in prepared remarks.

"We want our elected officials to listen and to turn their destructive fiscal policies around," Parrott said. "We want them to quit increasing the national debt and devaluing the dollar. We want to be heard and we want action."

While acknowledging past deficits and growth of the national debt in previous administrations, Parrott said the rate of the increase in spending in the last two years has been much more alarming to him.

"Our debt has just increased tenfold," Parrott said Saturday afternoon after the rally.

Harold Carbaugh of Clear Spring said he never had experienced anything like Saturday's rally.

"I'm on cloud nine," Carbaugh said after the rally, where he met people from Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and other states.

Carbaugh said he began asking people where they were from after realizing the demonstration wasn't simply by people from the Washington area.

"Basically, what our founding fathers gave us is being eroded," Carbaugh said of his concerns. "Our Constitution is being stripped out from under us one piece at a time."

Carbaugh, a dairy farmer, said it was time for good men and women to do something or risk losing what the founding fathers established.

Anne Gray of Frederick, Md., said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's criticism of people attending the town hall meetings on health care as being "un-American" inspired her to join the protest.

"It was the biggest summer reunion picnic you ever had," Gray said of the event's atmosphere. "I definitely want to become more involved."

The march was the third event Parrott has participated in since April 15, when TEA Party events were held across the nation.

Earlier this summer, Parrott expressed interest in running for Subdistrict 2B seat in the Maryland General Assembly. The seat currently is held by Republican Christopher B. Shank, who is considering running for the Maryland State Senate seat held by Republican Donald F. Munson.

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