Donald Trump Holds a Rally in North Carolina

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Abigael with Trump supporter Jesus Saldana Davila

On March 9, thousands of Donald Trump supporters attended a campaign rally for the presidential candidate in Fayetteville, North Carolina. People filed into the Crown Coliseum wearing Trump caps, signs, buttons, and T-shirts. Veterans waved signs in support of the candidate, while others held banners with Trump's campaign slogan: "Make America Great Again."

Cheers echoed off the walls when Trump walked to the podium, waving to his supporters. So many signs were held in the air that it was impossible to see the candidate from the press area until everyone sat down. Immediately, the cameras were trained on the Republican front-runner.

Once Trump's address got underway, however, he was interrupted several times by the shouts of protesters. At one point, a Trump supporter, John McGraw, punched a man who was being led out of the arena by uniformed officers. The incident, which led to McGraw's arrest, made national news.



Most people at the rally, including Betty Evers, expressed excitement about Trump's bid for the presidency. "He says what he believes, and he believes what he says," said Evers, a bus driver for 25 years at Hope Mills Middle School in North Carolina. When asked how she thinks the country will change under a Trump presidency, Evers said, "Morals, for one thing. Family life, family structure, jobs, giving people more choices like we're supposed to have."

Trump spoke about many of the issues facing the United States, including an uncertain economy, the threat of terrorism, border security between Mexico and the United States, and care for wounded military veterans. "We’re going to protect our jobs, and we’re going to protect our factories," Trump said. "We’re going to protect our people.”

Clarence Samelko, a mililtary veteran from Raleigh, North Carolina, said that he likes Trump because “he’s bringing back the old values that we’ve forgotten about, and I believe that he'll be good for America, good for all Americans, not just a certain group. He's coming across as if he’s something else than what people want, but I think he’s reasonable and fair for everyone.”

Jesus Saldana Davila, a former New Yorker who moved to North Carolina to serve in the military, was happy to have his handmade poster signed by Trump. "I like the guy," Davila said. "He's amazing. He's got great ideas about the country."



Photo courtesy of the author