By Greg Davis
It was 1976, the year of the famous, and infamous, Bicentennial of America. True Father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, was planning to speak at the Washington Monument on September 18 as a grand finale for the historical “God Bless America Festival,” which had been launched at the beginning of the year.
I, like thousands of brothers and sisters, had been pulled off of “frontline” MFT (mobile fundraising team) duty to participate in the Yankee Stadium event that took place in June. That event was clearly a battle between heaven and hell, and in spite of the fact that we literally reversed the weather patterns inside the stadium by “chasing away the rain,” singing “You Are My Sunshine” with all our hearts, True Father declared it a “victory.”
Although some of us, maybe, were not sure. He said in his historic speech at the “victory” celebration at Belvedere, “…now I know you can succeed at the Washington Monument rally.” Father, always with the “providential numbers.”
As a veteran MFT team captain, I wasn’t so sure about my future participation in the coming weeks. It seemed that few events, historical or not, altered the consistency of frontline MFT work. And, after a typical quick reshuffling of members, teams, and regions, my team and I went back out, to the streets, parking lots, shopping centers, and bar runs, of…Philadelphia. In summer 1976, Philadelphia was where it was all happening. A party in the streets every night.
However, in early September, my team, as well as hundreds of others from around the country, were “called in” to join forces with the thousands of brothers and sisters who had already been working day and night preparing for the historic “Meet Us At the Monument” campaign, in cities all over the country. The plan was for Rev. Moon to address a crowd of 300,000 at the Monument and we were there to help “prepare buses.”
Now everyone has heard, “God works in mysterious ways,” so, as it turned out, my team, was sent to…Baltimore. We were assigned to work with an already established group headed by members who came from…Oakland, California.
In 1976, many had “heard” of the “touchy-feely” success the “Oakland Family” had in swelling the ranks of the Unification family. And the stories became legend.