Two of the DesignDestinations bloggers–Kate Dernocoeur and Peggy DePersia— marched in Washington last Saturday and have shared their experiences here. I hope you will find interesting and inspiring. I did.
by Kate Dernocoeur, guest blogger
Washington, D.C., January 21, 2017: In the aftermath (afterglow?) of what was indisputably an epic, historic day, we feel exhilarated, and tired. By “we,” I mean those hundreds of thousands of people who converged on our nation’s Capitol to show up for what was, in my opinion, a march in defense of our national moral character. Everything is at risk: the environment, human rights of all sorts, immigration, social justice, anything and everything that so many have fought for over the course of my lifetime. I worry. And by all appearances, I have cause to worry. This is why I was there. These reasons are why I marched.
We arrived with our signs (and, oh, were there signs!), and our resolve, and our slight intrepidation about what it might be like if anything went awry. (The night before, my group discussed contingencies, and I wrote in Sharpie on my forearm the words “ICE” for “in case of emergency” and a phone number for who to call should I get into difficulty). We joined legions of people wearing pink hats of every shade, each with cat ears–a quiet reference to “pussy,” as in Mr. Trump’s earlier commentaries).
It was the largest protest march in history, they say. Of any sort, for any reason. Speaking as someone who was there, it was amazing for its character: polite, kind, tolerant. People were without exception (in my experience) unfailingly ready to work with others to make space, to grant passage, to lift one another up. It was amazing. And in the evening, after people had largely dissipated, the garbage piles were neat and litter almost non-existent. A half million? A million? The numbers are in dispute. It felt like a million or more, but they were, to a person, my people. My friends and neighbors and people I’d like to know better. There was no dispute (except in the rare isolated examples where people sought to incite violence–and yet no one needed to be arrested).
We just wanted to be there, to be counted, to show that for whatever reason the balance of power had shifted in a direction that astonished and dismayed us. We had awakened and were ready to respond.
The march on Washington (and the marches that occurred in cities throughout the world in solidarity to the central march) was for real. It was an amazing, inspirational, and brilliant experience that must – will – have repercussions. Just wait.
by Peggy DePersia, Guest Blogger
Destination: Washington D.C.
All roads seemed to lead there on Saturday, January 21, 2017
It was the day of the ‘Women’s March’. It felt momentous, electric, exhilarating, colorful in many layered ways and joyful. Yes, all of that, all at once!
I was fortunate to attend this celebration of our rich cultural diversity as a nation with my dear friend of 50 plus years and my adult daughter. Does it get any better than that?
My friend was particularly impressed and inspired by the positive energy represented by the large number of what appeared to be 20-30 year old participants; along with every other demographic in life’s spectrum including children and babies in strollers.
We three agreed that the good energy felt in the ground swell of rallying cheers that arose intermittently all around us captured the earnestness of our endeavor and the thrill of being witness to the processes available to us in our democracy surrounded, as we were, by our national monuments and the ideals represented therein.
Again, I ask you, does it get any better than that?
Kate Dernocoeur is a frequent guest blogger at Design Destinations, and lives with her German shepherd dog on a quiet road in Vergennes Twp, Michigan.
Dreaming of “Getting out of Town” Peggy retired as a high school art teacher and now devotes her time to teaching at Kendall College of Art and Design and living creatively. Both Peggy and her husband, Jerry, enjoy travel on or near water and time with their darling grand son Oliver.