Highland Falls — After hours of waiting, the first glimpse of slow-moving police cars down the road, lights flashing, let Tim Woods, 56, know it was time to get ready.

Highland Falls — After hours of waiting, the first glimpse of slow-moving police cars down the road, lights flashing, let Tim Woods, 56, know it was time to get ready.

"Now remember, honey," he said to his 10-year-old daughter, Rebecca, "yell real loud."

Woods, a retired Army Special Forces soldier, was one of about three dozen protesters gathered on the main strip here yesterday, flags in hand.

As hundreds of anti-war activists gathered down the street to mark Vice President Dick Cheney's commencement address at West Point with a protest march, Woods and others aimed to protest them.

"Daddy," his daughter asked as the crowd of banner-holding anti-war demonstraters drew closer, "what are they going to do?"

"Make asses out of themselves," Woods answered.

It has become a mini-tradition, the anti-war rally during West Point's graduation. Last year, President Bush spoke, but given how polarizing a figure the vice president is, some organizers thought this year's demonstration could top 2006's in size.

"We never know with turnout," said Michael Sussman, the civil rights attorney who had sued, and lost, for the right to hold this year's protests inside West Point's gates. "It's just important we're here."

In the end, about 300 to 400 marchers joined Sussman in a display of symbols and slogans that have become familiar: faux flag-draped coffins, "Impeach Cheney" placards and

"Stop the War" T-shirts.

But it was the appearance of the Gathering of Eagles group, and its supporters, that changed the tone of this year's demonstration.

Standing on the corner of West Point Highway and Veteran's Way, an alley's length from the anti-war camp, a dozen of the Eagles taunted the other side with a bullhorn.

"Hey, Peace Nazis," yelled Jim Bancroft, an ex-Marine and Gathering of Eagles coordinator from Connecticut, into the megaphone. "War freed the slaves! War saved the Jews! Anti-war racists go home!"

Bancroft and others in his group singled out members of the anti-war group: demanding women to tell them why they didn't support Iraqi women's right to vote, calling the father of a dead U.S. soldier a "disgrace to his son" and branding members of Veterans for Peace traitors.

A few war protestors provoked to anger had their pictures snapped flipping Bancroft off. One gray-bearded anti-war marcher in an Army uniform smiled, turned around and tugged his pants down a bit, giving the counter-demonstrators a half-moon.

Sussman urged his group to ignore the vastly outnumbered Eagles, who had a handful of members dress in pink, as the Raging Grannies anti-war activists do, only to clown ridiculously and mock the peaceniks.

Down the road near West Point's Thayer Gate, Woods, his wife and daughter and others waited. Police had decided the war protestors must keep to the sidewalk during their march. The anti-protester group held ground as close to the sidewalk as possible, forming a thinly-manned gantlet.

Anti-war U.S. flags brushed pro-war U.S. flags, and shoulder brushed counter-demonstrating shoulder.

"Cowards," yelled some Eagles as anti-war demonstrators filed by. "Morons!"

Police reported no arrests and by noon, the anti-war crowd was in the park again, listening to speakers or packing up their cars. The Eagles group was down the street, hugging each other goodbye.