A wave of red, white and blue-draped patriots lined Carson Street on Saturday waving American flags and chanting "U-S-A, U-S-A."
Carrying placards saying "God Bless America," "Support Our Troops," "Pray 4 Our Troops," and "Liberation for Iraq," nearly 800 people took to the streets in support of President Bush, the war in Iraq and the service men and women on the front lines and at home.
Rally organizer and mother of a U.S. Army soldier deployed to Iraq, Dina York said she was glad to see so many turn out. Her son, Nathan York, is a 22-year-old specialist in the Army and a 1999 graduate of Carson High School.
"It really means a lot," she said. "I can't think of anything wise to say; I just know Nathan is on my mind and in my heart every day."
York's husband Mike said, "My wife said she wanted to have a rally Saturday and here it is."
Supporters began to show up about 10 a.m. and continued until about 1 p.m., the rally's scheduled conclusion.
Motorists honked nonstop as they drove up and down in front of the Legislative Building.
Steve Witt of Reno came to the rally with his parents and two daughters. "I came mostly to support our troops who are fighting for our freedom," he said. "And to support George Bush and our government."
Stacey Witt, 10, said she was out to "just have fun and support our troops and Bush." The fourth-grader at Alice Taylor Elementary School in Reno said she and her classmates talk about their opinion of the war for about 30 minutes each day.
"I'm glad they're doing something about it," she said.
Her sister, 7-year-old Karmyn Witt, waved her red, white and blue pinwheels and said she, too, supported the troops.
Their grandfather, Bill Witt, served in the U.S. Army from 1959-1971. He served in Vietnam in 1968 with the engineers helping to build roads and bridges. He said he was there as support and was not involved in the fighting.
Cpl. Joseph Covington's father carried his son's photo for the rally.
"He's in Okinawa, Japan, right now," Lincoln Covington said. "Don't ask me about tomorrow."
Though Covington's son is thus far outside of the immediate fray, his dad said he attended the rally to support his son's buddies and classmates who are in Iraq.
"The only way to get it done is to go do the job," he said. "This is quite an outpouring. I'm overwhelmed."
Debbie Best and Heather Cortez were also carrying a photo and sporting U.S. Army garb. Best's son, Cortez's boyfriend, Derek Best, has graduated from the signal communications program in Gordon, Ga., and is headed for special operations training.
A 2002 graduate of Carson High School, Derek Best is 18. Debbie Best said she was taking pictures to send to him.
"The kids have a lot of friends in the service," Debbie Best said. "Some of them have gone over to Iraq. Those guys really need to know they're supported. He's been disappointed seeing all the rallies against the war."
IF YOU GO
What: Support our troops at a peace rally
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 5 and April 6
Where: Capitol in Carson City
Information: Shari Hollis, 888-9803.