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U.S. News
Many come out to show war support across land

Monday, March 24, 2003

By Karen Matthews, The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A day after massive anti-war rallies attracted thousands across the nation -- including more than 100,000 people in a march down Broadway -- hundreds of people gathered in Times Square and other cities yesterday to show support for the war in Iraq.

Demonstrators including Daniel Flores of San Jose, Calif., center in black shirt, and Vietman veteran Ronnie Guyer of Chino, Calif., center in yellow jacket, chant in support of the United States military on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue yesterday in Los Angeles. The rally was about a half a block from the 75th annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre.(Reed Saxon, Associated Press)

About 600 people waved American flags and chanted "U-S-A! "U-S-A!" at the Times Square demonstration.

"Thank God we have a president who is a real global leader, protecting our liberty and security, relentless in his pursuit of justice and not bending to the appeasers," said Republican activist Michael Benjamin, who is considering a run for U.S. Senate against Charles Schumer in 2004.

"The entire world community has said time and again that Saddam Hussein is a danger and that he must be disarmed," said former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler. "But it is the United States and the coalition of the willing which has finally been willing to stand up and say, 'What must be done, let it be done now.' "

On Saturday, a throng 30 city blocks long had marched down Broadway to oppose the war. Organizers put the crowd at 250,000; police said it was 125,000 strong. Police said 91 people were arrested, and 16 officers were hospitalized after they were sprayed with an unknown substance.

Near Richmond, Va., yesterday, police said more than 5,000 people showed up to show their support for the war -- something veterans Terry Steer said they could have used during Vietnam.

"I'm here to support the troops because I know what it was like when people didn't," said Steer, 55, who fought during the 1968 Tet Offensive with the 1st Air Calvary Division of the Army. "That can't happen again."

In Washington, about 300 activists turned out for a pro-military rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, waving signs saying "God bless our troops" and "Freedom is not free." Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa said all Americans -- even the ones opposing the war -- need to stand behind the troops now that the war is underway, and that some protesters have been displaying "un-American values."

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