EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Among the crowd in the march were lots of locals who piled onto buses this morning to travel to Washington. 28/22 News Reporter Emily Allegrucci had a chance to speak with some of them.

Allegrucci did have a chance to a few people from northeastern Pennsylvania who marched for Israel earlier Tuesday.

They said from the moment they boarded the bus to the capitol, they felt unity, and for the first time in a while, they felt hope.

Dozens from northeastern Pennsylvania boarded a bus and joined thousands in Washington DC on Tuesday as they marched for Israel.

“Everybody that was on the bus came to stand with Israel at this very difficult time,” said Haris Cutler of Scranton.

The sea of blue and white in DC became one as they rallied to support Israel and to protest growing antisemitism in America.

“We got off the bus, we saw so many from so many different backgrounds, thousands of people, hundreds of buses and it was just so loving, everybody was there for one purpose,” said Back Mountain Director of Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Sirota.

Local marchers say support and solidarity came from all ages, ethnicities, and religions.

For Haris Cutler, having his best friend, Lou Palmeri, by his side made the day that much more special.

“We’ve been best friends for 63 years. He’s catholic, and when my wife couldn’t come on the trip, I called him and he said he’d love to go to the rally for Israel,” said Cutler.

“As a Catholic, I’ve grown up with this Jewish family, with their faith, with their culture, and their community. And when the events of October 7 happened, I just felt like what can I do?” said Palmeri.

Many in the march believe Monday’s show of support was one step closer to peace in the Middle East.

“Every prayer that we say ends with the word, ‘Shalom’ which means ‘peace.’ That’s all we all want. Peace,” Cutler said.

Those who Allegrucci spoke with said they were grateful for the opportunity they had today and thankful for the support from everyone who marched.