Josh Ring Supports Israel
Josh Ring

These are twelve things I remember from my one-day trip to Washington, D.C. for a pro-Israel rally on April 8, 2002:


The bus ride was almost five hours each way. I couldn't sleep much. The girl next to me slept on me though. She was lying on my leg. I couldn't move. I had to hold on to her so she wouldn't fall off the seat. I didn't want her to hurt herself.

When she woke up and got off me, I stood up in my seat and smiled. I declared "freedom," and sat back down in my seat. The trip would last another few hours. She went to sit somewhere else. She said I was too boring. I didn't think I was being too boring.


The bus smelled like urine. Too many people had to pee on that bus. Someone peed three times just on one way. I yelled at her. I was sitting in the first row in front of the bathroom. Buses with toilets should empty their tanks more often. Someone put an orange peel on the back of my seat. They said it would act as an air freshener, but it just got in my hair.


When we got to D.C., we had to walk 3 miles to Capitol Hill from the football station. We passed through a park. A little baby was hanging from a monkey bar not two feet off the ground. Her feet did not reach the dirt. She wouldn't let go of the bar. She seemed a little concerned. She was not older than three. I smiled at her, but she wasn't looking at me. I told my friend I was walking with how cute that was.


The police told us to stay out of the street. Instead, we walked on the sidewalk and trampled the small gardens planted in front of the houses. They were only traffic cops, but we still listened to them most of the time. I walked in the street when I had to pass slow walkers.

One woman remarked to a policewoman, "have you ever seen so many people?" The traffic officer said, "They were expecting about 100,000." "Oh! A lot more than that, sister!" replied the woman. She said "sister" really emphatically. I walked faster to get away from her. I had to walk in the street.


There were a lot of people crammed against the gates of the rally. They couldn't get in. There were only two entrances and they were hard to find. Me, and my three friends, squeezed our way through the packed crowd and found one of the open gates. Inside the rally, there was plenty of space. People were lying out in the green grass. We did too. There were more people outside then inside.


It was hot. Every so often, I saw someone being carried away. The people being carried looked sick. One time, I was told to get out of their way. I stepped backwards to let them through. They were trying to get to a medical station. The person must have been dehydrated.

It was so hot that men in orange flak jackets brought boxes of bottled water into the crowd. They were given out for free. We only had a little water left. We finished what we had and walked to the free water. We only took one bottle. That's all we needed. We thought other people might need it more.

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Image: Zvi Band
June 2002

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josh ring