The following was submitted by one of the members tyof the Indy Tea Party. Please visit their website at http://www.inteaparty.com/ . They have a place to donate and/or purchase merchandise. If you have a story of your own you would like published to my blog please submit it to me at email@example.com …. Enjoy!
Always the optimist, Saturday morning July 4th, I filled thermoses with ice water and ice tea for the INdependence Day Tea Party. We planned for a day of sun, heat and humidity typical of an Indiana July 4th. As the volunteer in charge of the Medical Response Team, I had planned for weeks for every possible medical emergency. I had already packed the first aid kits and other supplies we might need the night before. My husband had borrowed a tent from his employer for the event and had the first aid tent, the “patient” cot, and chairs in the car as well. I prayed that we would not have rain despite the forecasts on the news and the increasingly dismal sky. Mostly I prayed for a huge turn out to the event that many of us on the leadership team had prepared for since the minute after the 4/15 Tea Party was over. I prayed that a great many would be determined to stand with us against what is happening in our government now and would attend despite the weather forecasts.
As we drove downtown the drizzle started. By the time we parked and began to unload the supplies from our car it was clearly raining. We checked in with the rest of the team, already setting up tents and supplies, and then my husband and I set up the first aid tent, cot and chairs. It was a challenge to keep things dry in the 10’x10′ tent. The blanket as well as the first aid kits had to be kept in bags to keep from being soaked. Once the first aid tent was set up it was time for the meeting of all volunteers at 1pm. Everyone was already soaked to the skin from the rain but we were all excited that all the months of preparation were coming together. Richard and Laura, the eternal optimists, gave us a pep talk and last minute instructions then we all gathered for a lunch before returning to our tasks made ever more challenging by the constant rain. Umbrellas were useless as most things that needed done, needed done with two hands.
Back at the first aid tent we were finishing preparations when a man wearing a USMC hat stepped up to me and said “Here, I thought you could use this.” He handed me a sturdy plastic, waterproof, tub the size of a shoebox. I opened the tub and found it filled with neatly sorted sterile gauze pads and bandages. I asked him if he wanted it back after the event and he said “No, keep it.” After I said “Thank you!!!” The Marine quietly walked off. I had purchased first aid kits but if we didn’t have to open them they could be returned to the store and the money donated back to the IN Tea Party to help pay off the debt for the event. (I hope that Marine is reading this now because I wanted him to know that his supplies were used for an attendee’s eye injury shortly after the event started. I used sterile gauze from the Marine’s box and didn’t have to open the kits from the store. Because of that we have $50 that can help pay for the event.)
I thought I would faint when the State Police officer assigned to our event stepped into the tent and told us that they had arranged for AED’s to be available to us if needed. I had asked him earlier if he carried one in his State Police car and when he said “no” I thought “well, I expected we wouldn’t have one available so this is not a huge set back”. Clearly the rain was going to discourage about anyone from attending so chances were slim we would need an AED anyway. Now we would have access to an AED after all! The team was given the number to call if we needed the AED. We were now as prepared as we possibly could be. Our Medical Response team was comprised of Dr Blank (the ER doc who spoke) and 4 other R.N.’s Wes, Kesa, Julie, and Dot, all volunteers.
As the event was nearing its start the Committee volunteers met once more about 4:30pm to discuss the last minute changes brought about by the ceaseless rain. Silent questions about whether the Wright Bros. would be able to perform at all were met with the obvious answer given by the rain. We looked about the soggy grounds and saw that there were very few people gathered besides the volunteers and the event was due to start in less than a half an hour. We all remembered how people arrived for the Tax Day Tea Party hours before the event and now only a handful of people stood in the rain waiting for the show. We had a prayer lead by one of the event speakers. It was a great prayer but honestly, my spirits were getting lower by the minute and I personally had trouble mustering the same optimism as the Behney’s and other volunteers. Once the prayer and meeting ended we all scurried back to our assigned places to greet the people we still hoped would come to the event…
I returned to the first aid tent. I felt I needed to remain there even though Kesa another volunteer R.N. was there. I really wanted to attend the March from Monument Circle but I felt my first responsibility as leader of the Medical Response Team was to remain at the tent as much as possible. A phone call came in to one of the volunteers nearby and the message was relayed to us…there were a couple hundred people assembled at the Monument for the march! I thought well at least we’ll have a couple hundred people attend but in reality that news didn’t do much to lift my damp spirits. We’d hoped for thousands of people, a couple hundred didn’t compare. The committee members had been working 3 months, so very hard, to make this day a huge success only to see it washed down the drain with the rain that was coming down harder and harder as the time of the event approached. About 5pm I began to hear the distant beats of the drum from the march. It pulled me from my post in the first aid tent toward the part of the park where they would arrive. Even though I was already soaked from the rain, as I left shelter of the tent, I began to feel even soggier and now cold too. My mind thought back to all the sacrifices I had made to help with planning this event, time not spent with my husband and granddaughter, time not spent on my business, time not spent just to relax. I thought of all the things that had not gotten done while I focused every shred of time I could on the Tea Party events. I thought about how I would rather be at home now, warm and dry, maybe catching up on some sleep on the sofa… Then, the beats of the drum got louder and I looked up to see the front rows of marchers coming toward me. I began to cheer them on, I figured it was the least I could do since they had come out in the rain to participate in our event. Then the first row of marchers turned the corner and behind them…more marchers! I put my hand to my mouth in amazement, now too stunned to chant or cheer. People really did care enough about this cause to march in a downpour! But then the marchers just kept coming and as they turned the corner they revealed more marchers. I felt like an idiot, here I was the Medical Response Team leader, wearing a Committee Leader security badge and I was crying. Crying tears of JOY! All the hours were NOT wasted! People really did still care about the Tea Party movement! They cared so much that they were not going to let the rain wash away their determination! I started shouting “We’ve had enough!” with the marchers while tears ran down my face. Like the others have written…the emotion was OVERWHELMING!
To any of you who attended, I want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart for your determination and your PRESENCE at the INdependence Day Tea Party. Every single one of you made every sacrifice we committee members make worth it! I think I can safely speak for all the volunteers when I say that. Your presence among MANY hundreds of others standing, resolute, in pouring rain CAN NOT be ignored by the media or more importantly our elected officials! It is my hope and prayers that you will continue to make your voices heard and your presence seen as we go forward with future events including the flash rally this Wednesday at the GOP fundraiser. We cannot relent! We WILL NOT relent!
P.S. We had only one other “patient” in the First Aid Tent and he only required 2 antiseptic wipes and 2 band aids. A safe event was a big bonus!