(Today I turn the blog over to my good friend Sharon Healey who was one of the hundreds of thousands of people who protested yesterday in over 600 marches across the country. Sharon’s thoughts on the day in Boston follow:)
I didn’t sleep well the night before. I’m not sure if it was worry about the day ahead or anguish over what is happening in the country and the ramifications of it all across the land and the world: probably a little of both.
I arrive at the bus pick up spot and join the other riders including some that I know well and others who are strangers. We share stories, hats, signs and camaraderie. Once in Boston, my friends and I make our way to the place where we are meeting others. We take photos and then join the throngs on the common. Flying above us are helicopters; hanging from windows are people waving signs; standing at attention is a young woman dressed as The Statue of Liberty wrapped in a flag of the USA.
The speeches begin after singing of “America, The Beautiful” and the saying of “The Pledge of Allegiance.” The speakers are a diverse group: a poet, a Muslim woman, teenagers, union leaders, a lawyer for the NAACP, and two Native American women. They all had inspiring words to offer but (for me) the real inspiration and fire came from the elected officials (probably because they are more practiced in this). Marty Walsh (mayor of Boston) welcomed us to the city, Sen. Elizabeth Warren extolled that we could whine or we can fight back! Sen. Ed Markey reminded us of all the firsts that happened in Massachusetts from the Revolution to marriage equality! This reminded me of how darn proud I am to be from Massachusetts!! Attorney General Maura Healey was the last speaker, and she received the largest cheers when she promised when necessary to see the president IN COURT. That for me was a huge relief of anguish from the past months. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I know that such a strong person in a position of power has my back.
Then the march began. If you have not heard, there were upwards of 175,000 people at the Boston March. Many carried signs: most clever but all stating what was dearest to its holder’s heart. It took almost an hour and a half for all the marchers to exit the common onto the March route. Amazing! (but also frustrating truth be told). The volunteers did an unbelievable job with a crowd that was unanticipated. The people did an amazing job in that the day was full of support, love, and peace. I was proud to be there!
How do I feel today, the day after? Inspired, some relief, happy that I was there with so many like-minded others, and proud. What will I do as a result? I’m still not sure. I want to be able to focus my energies in one or two directions but as there are so many directions, it will take me awhile to figure that out. Overall, there are dark days ahead I’m sure, but yesterday was not one of them. It was a day full of love and light!