Yesterday I did one of the most important things I have ever done in my life. I took the DC metro to the Women’s March on Washington. It was the day after Donald Trump’s Inauguration. Nobody wanted to go with me so I went alone. It was a last minute decision. I woke up that morning and saw the people on TV gathering for the march, and I knew I HAD to go and be a part of history. I hastily made a sign with poster board paper I had in my house and got in my car and drove to Springfield.
It was a dreary, drizzly day and I was petrified about having to navigate the Metro by myself. I was so nervous on the way there. I wasn’t sure exactly where to get off, and it was getting a little late in the day so I kept thinking, I’m going through all this grief and there will probably be only a few pockets of people milling around by the time I get there. I got there around 2 pm.
But it was too late to turn back. I hopped off at the Federal Triangle metro station, still with plenty of doubt.I kept thinking I had made a foolish decision because it would be all over by the time I got there. I walked toward the street and as I approached, I saw lots of people on a bleacher (left over from the inauguration.) The bleachers were blocking the street so I couldn’t see what was going on until I walked around the bleachers –and what did I see? Hundreds of thousands of people marching in the street. Actually, now the estimated count is up to a million. A sea of people everywhere, many wearing pink hats. Thousands of signs being held up. The beautiful sight and sound of Democracy at work.
The scene was so awesome, it was indescribable. I was overcome with emotion and felt tears spring to my eyes. I had to hold back from bursting into tears. I was thinking, “Oh my God!” As far as the eye could see, from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington monument, the people were marching and yelling and singing and chanting. Women and men of all ages, mothers and their young daughters, elderly people being pushed in wheelchairs, babies in strollers…People of every race and nationality. The parade was a force in itself and I just jumped in and started walking, holding up my hand made sign. It said. “Fake President.”
There were so many creative, funny, serious signs…just reading the signs was so much fun. We all admired each other’s signs and posed for each other holding our signs.
After a while I made my way to the sidewalk where there was another bleacher looking out into the street. I stood at one of the highest bleachers so I could just take it all in. The parade marched on, slowly and boisterously. At intervals, the entire crowd would spontaneously burst out in loud cheers, as evidenced in this video I posted.
People were happy, peaceful..it was so wonderful to see that there were SO MANY people out there that felt strongly enough to fly on planes from California, Oregon, New York, to name a few, to participate in one of the largest marches on Washington in history. At the same time, hundreds of thousands were marching in cities all over the country, (not just the coasts!) and indeed, all over the world. It was Donald Trump’s first full day in office. And the American people spoke, loud and clear. The entire world spoke, loud and clear.
It was a joyous and exciting experience. We marched on the same streets that Martin Luther King marched on, the Vietnam war protests, thethe Civil Rights Marches, the Suffragettes….the most important historical events in our history. Their spirits were right there with us. We were exercising what makes America the greatest country in the world–the First amendment right to free speech. In the most sacred ground for Democracy–the Washington Mall. It was just a vast, colorful. beautiful sea of Americans who cared enough for their country to come and participate. If you look at pictures you can see how many were there, but to actually be there –it was a magnificent sight that I had never seen. Everybody was happy, friendly, excited to be a part of this massive outpouring. For the first time since election day when Donald Trump won, I felt real hope at that march. I saw that there are millions of us, all over the country, and all over the world.
It was a peaceful protest. I heard there were zero arrests. People sang, at times, “This land is your land”. We chanted things like, “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go! I met a new friend from Portland, Oregon, while waiting on line to get back on the Metro. I have never been so proud of my country as I was at that march yesterday. Even the famous Gloria Steinham said she had never seen anything like it in here “very long life.” John Kerry was there. Madonna. Other celebrities, but I missed them all. I was just happy to see my fellow Americans out there being patriots for their country. God bless America.