Today after getting home from Washington in the early hours of the morning I woke up exhausted from an intense 24 hours but also invigorated, energized and filled with hope.
It will take awhile to really let all of the feelings and emotions fully sink in but I wanted to share my pictures and initial thoughts from yesterday.
I traveled to Washington in a passenger van with 11 other people. The “Dirty Dozen” as we called ourselves. We hit the road from NYC at 3:30 in the morning. Armed with tons of food (women sure know how to go on a trip) and coffee we made our way to the Capitol. The excitement started to build as we were joined on the highway by a sea of buses and cars full of women and men clearly headed to Washington or bust!
Our plan included parking at Reagan Airport and then taking the Metro into the city. The people at the Metro were extremely helpful offering advice and directing us to the right train. We stood on the platform with other people holding signs and wearing pink pussy hats and inspiring slogans on clothing. The platform was crowded and when the train pulled in it was already overcrowded. We had to let it pass, but as determined New Yorkers we crushed on to the next train. Everyone was going to the March. Our train was held because of traffic. We were squished in like sardines. Not a single person complained. There was laughter. We traded stories. Asked where we had all traveled from- Missouri, North Carolina, Colorado, Alabama, California… As we approached our stop it became clear that the crowds were already growing, we had to skip our stop due to crowds on the platform (it was just 9 am!!) and they dropped us off at the next stop. When we exited the subway it was a bit unreal. We joined a swell of people who were moving toward the meeting site. The mood was electric.
Our group found a spot to stand, the area closest to the stage was already inaccessible. We stood with many others as the crowd around us continued to grow. There were people as far as the eye could see. We stood for hours, reading the signs, talking to those around us and getting pumped up by the crowd. When we did finally begin to march it was then that we became fully aware of just how many people there were. It is hard to explain what it felt like to be a part of something so big. Women and men. Young and old. Families, couples, sisters, brothers, friends. It was a day I will not soon forget.
I have never been a part of anything so inspiring. So many people joined together in peaceful demonstration. No matter what your political beliefs, it is an incredible reminder in the power of freedom of expression. What struck me most throughout the day was the little moments of kindness- people helping others with directions, offering snacks, saying sorry when jostled in a crowd, smiling at one another. I saw no acts of violence, in fact there was very little anger… people weren’t being disrespectful, screaming or swearing. It was the opposite. There was singing, creative signs, thoughtful questions, inclusivity, women and men fighting for human rights, reproductive rights, equality, respect for all. At one point in the march a group of Trump supporters needed to cross, a group of men in “make america great” and “trump” hats . They looked nervous. The crowd simply parted. No words were spoken.
When we regrouped at the end of the day and cell service was restored I was in awe when I saw the numbers from marches around the world. A beautiful thing indeed.
Mr. President, you have been elected, yes, that is fact. However, this is the United States, we the people have a voice and we have rights and we are watching. You can’t bully us. We will not be silenced. You can’t ignore us. Isn’t that what democracy is all about? I am proud to have marched with so many people from around the country and world yesterday. For my daughters, for their future, I refuse to be silent.
Thank you to the “dirty dozen”, it was a real honor to share the day with all of you. So much love and respect in that little van.
Love always trumps hate. S xox