(Originally shared on 01.22.17)
Yesterday I had the honor of fully exercising my first amendment rights along with half a million other people in DC and about 4 million people worldwide. Today, I’m seeing reports that it was the largest demonstration in United States history, and so at this point the math alone guarantees that this event won’t soon be forgotten. That being said, what I personally will remember most about yesterday is this…
I will remember the stunningly beautiful diversity. There were people there of all ages, faiths, ethnicities, abilities, genders, etc. all just beaming with support for one another. On multiple occasions I heard older folks thanking younger people for participating and encouraging them to be heard, and run for office. I also heard young people thanking older folks for leading the way and promising to carry on what they’ve started far beyond yesterday’s demonstration. It was just so damn beautiful and inspiring there were times I thought my heart might actually explode.
I will also remember the privilege. To watch that many people carry a message you believe in with all your heart and soul up to the base of the Washington monument and beyond was heady stuff, to be sure. I took more than a few moments of focused silence for myself to take it all in and to be actively grateful to everyone who has fought and died before us to secure our right to peacefully assemble and speak up the way that we did. I hope that every American citizen gets a chance to bring their voice right up to the center of our government like that. It was a powerful, bucket-list-level experience that I will never forget and definitely do not take lightly.
And last but certainly not least, I will remember the sacrosanct civility of it all. In a crowd of half a million people, when someone bumped directly into me or needed me to move out of the way in order to get by, they said excuse me. When kids stopped along the way to pick up their toys or tie their shoes, etc. the people surrounding them would stop and give them the space they needed. I only saw two trolls all day, hardly any police, and never any violence. Just thousands upon thousands lifting each other up. It was transcendent.
When we came together the way we did yesterday, we created a worldwide nation of our own—of people who want to live in a world based on the very best in us, united in and by our humanity. That is the country I want to live in and I look forward to continuing to do the work to make it a full-time reality.
President of Sussex County NOW