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Tea Party groups honor the service of others

July 03, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
  • Matthew Judy, 14, of Martinsburg, W.Va., has fun looking like Uncle Sam as he attends the Patriot's Picnic at Poor House Farm Park near Martinsburg.
Kelly Hahn Johnson, Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The American flag at Poor House Farm Park on Saturday was so big -- announced at 42 feet by 30 feet -- it took about 30 people to unfurl and stretch it so it didn't touch the ground.

Greg Judy of Martinsburg led dozens of people in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The display of pageantry was part of a Fourth of July picnic, held a day early.

The event was organized by Blue Ridge Patriots Inc., a Berkeley County group, and We The People, based in Jefferson County.

Organizers offered free food and drinks at the picnic. Children played on an inflatable moon bounce.

At its website, Blue Ridge Patriots, part of the national Tea Party movement, says, "It's time to stand up and say NO MORE! No more massive Government, no more pork barrel spending, no more earmarks, no more bail-outs, no more career politicians, no more assumption of monetary wealth, no more representation without deliberation!"

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We The People, in a resolution posted at its website, says its members "shall stand united together as sentinels against these forces, which are seemingly bent on yoking the citizenry of this great Nation under the burden of an increasingly astronomical debt as well as the tyranny of repressive taxation and regulation."

Some people at the event wore politically themed T-shirts with messages such as "Capitalist, not Socialist" and "Re-defeat Communism -- 2012" with a circle and a line through a picture of President Obama.

But most of the program was a show of gratitude for the service of others, from police to firefighters to emergency services workers to veterans.

People in those fields in the crowd were applauded.

Dee Armstrong of Gerrardstown, W.Va., read aloud the Declaration of Independence.

Attendees watched a video for a song called "Rise Up," which was featured in a documentary, "The Tea Party Movie."

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