I left C’ville around 6 am with a couple of friends to head to the Women’s March. In Arlington we joined up with a couple more friends and headed to the Metro. Kudos to the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority for opening early, adding trains, and filtering the crowds for safety. It took some time just to get to the platforms, but despite the huge throng of people, the atmosphere was joyful. Every time another group would be let through the turnstiles, a cheer would go up. When the next group of people would be let up the escalators, there would be another cheer. After we let two overcrowded trains go by, we finally ended up taking a train one stop AWAY from DC to actually squeeze onto a train headed TOWARD DC. It soon became so crowded that it became hard to breathe. A man standing next to us collapsed and people immediately started calling for a doctor. You might imagine that in a train packed so full, it would be difficult for anyone to make their way through the crowd. Magically, the crowds parted to let through a panoply of women – an EMT and nurses were first on the scene. A bottle of water was passed hand over hand above people’s heads to be given to the gentleman who had fainted. He was given a seat and was soon pronounced alert and responsive. This was the atmosphere I experienced throughout the day. People were supportive, considerate, and positive. Everyone looked out for each other. At the rally and march, I was humbled to see at least two elderly women in wheelchairs. I can’t even imagine what they had to go through to get there.
Here are some of the things we witnessed:
This was the sign I carried:
There were many chants throughout the day, but my favorites were these two simple ones: “THIS is what America looks like!” and “THIS is what democracy looks like!” I’m so glad to have been a part of this. At the beginning of our trip, we had to go one stop backwards in order to move forward to our destination. Maybe this is a metaphor for what this country is going through now. I certainly hope so. Let’s keep this train moving forward.