After reading about riots and violence in the Raleigh local news, caution was in order. The articles told a tale of disorder and chaos. Blocked off streets and shops with boarded-up windows seemed to confirm the media narrative.
Yet, the volunteers were eager to set up and start praying for America in the public square in North Carolina’s capital. The caravan’s message beseeching Our Lady to return America to order was most needed now.
The volunteers are part of a nationwide effort organized by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). As part of its Mary, Mother of Mercy, Restore America Campaign, young volunteers will travel the country this summer on a 50-state Rosary Tour to call on Divine help to reject socialism and restore America.
As the bagpipes played the first strains of “Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above,” a few people having lunch on the capitol grounds looked over to an unusual sight: A large statue of Our Lady of Fatima surrounded by volunteers holding banners and signs. Then, the rosaries came out.
A steady stream of vehicles passed by and many drivers looked on with curiosity. The youngest member of the caravan turned over his sign to display the message “Honk to Rebuild America.” Smiles quickly flashed across the faces of several drivers. One older black man laid on his horn. Others followed his example over the next few minutes.
Not everyone was on board with the caravan’s message of prayer and hope. One college-age driver pulled over in front of the rally. He advocated for continued violence. In his materialistic view, there was only a place for human solutions for ills now besetting America. Praying the rosary for a return to order had no value in his eyes.
Such varied reactions in the same city showed the choice America faces: order or chaos.
As the rally drew to a close, the volunteers sang “God Bless America.” The sound of the pipes and drums echoed off the surrounding government buildings as the volunteers marched quickly back to the van.