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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March "An Amazing Day" from Marge Kilkelly

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Washington DC "Women's March", January 21, journal account by Marge Kilkelly
So very proud of my many relatives and friends who supported and attended the important international "Women's Marches throughout American cities and the world. Here is a first person account from Maine friend Marg Kilkelly, who kindly gave me permission to share with my blog: 

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Maine friend Marg Kilkelly wore her orange shirt autographed by friends and family who were with her in spirit on the Woman's March in Washington DC on January 21!

Washington DC: Probably too many pictures...but I can't help it (she writes)- Women's March today, January 21, 2017. 

We stayed together, and supported each other-each person being represented in name on my blaze orange TShirt. I was asked several times why were there so many names on my shirt? I simply said they were friends and family who were joining me in spirit because they could not be here in person. 

Each person marched for their own reasons. Some with anger, some with fear and some with a determination to be sure their position on a variety of issues were heard. Since so many of you joined me, I thought I would give you a full look at our day together.

Morning began with my wonderful Church of the Transfiguration providing blessings of well wishes and banana bread. 

Metro was mobbed but orderly, so I'm glad I had my smart card charged and did not have to stand in line...(she said smugly). 

Yes I made a hat complete with whiskers. Met wonderful women on the ride. They were three going together, two social workers and an economic development person...who had been in the Peace Corps in Romania! Great conversations! They offered that I might join them, but I decided to wander on my own at my own pace and we said our goodbyes with well wishes. Arriving at Judiciary Place, with hundreds of others, I headed off to the DC Mall. Now this was the moment of my bad decision making. I stood on a patio near the Canadian Embassy could tell because they have about 200 Canadian flags hanging up....the view was breathtaking and I had a place to sit! I took several pictures of the crowd gathering, caught up with granddaughter to add her to my shirt and checked messages. But could I just take advantage of this perfect position? Well, oh no, not me! Always looking for adventure, I needed to descend the perch and navigate my way across the Mall to 3rd st. That adventure ended about midway where I did get my favorite picture....but got really stuck. As the crowd tightened (and I mean tightened)..people were walking back to where I had started in groups holding hands, weaving in and out around others. 

I decided to join them and headed back towards "Oh Canada".....and, of course, just like trying the shorter line in the grocery store, all was lost. The crowds had filled in every nook and cranny. Kids up in a tree with an enviable view, reported that it was shoulder to shoulder in 3 out of 4 directions and the 4th was the opposite of the March. 

So I decided to hang out and people/sign watch. If I couldn't hear what was being said, I might as well read what other people were thinking.I stood near the fence beside a woman hanging out, as well. Marci and I ended up "foxhole bonding" and spent the rest of the event together. Two women from Seneca NY, joined us for a bit and shared their power bars and news of the outside world. 

Phones were pretty much out of commission most of the day. People all day were kind, gracious, thoughtful and caring. 

The Women's March was a bit discombobulated, because there were too many people for the original route...a good news/bad news story....Marci saved the day, as she knew the streets, and we joined a group headed cross lots to merge with the main group. 

We walked by Archives and its steps packed with people and then....wonder of wonder....we discovered a cache of Porta Potties! No lines, no waiting and fully "tp" stocked! Now, that may seem like a small thing...but it's not. We resumed with the March in a much more relaxed and comfortable fashion and headed towards the Washington Monument. Two groups merged and the music and chanting got louder and actually echoed between buildings and flowed like the "wave" of sound through the crowd. 

Throughout the day, every time I looked around I saw people in every direction. Folks even older than me and
parents with kids walking and infants riding. 

One sign on a carriage said,"I marched before I could walk". 

Diversity was the theme of the day. People from around the world and next door of every ethnic background participated. LGBT or straight was irrelevant-everyone just seemed to be enjoying each other's company and camaraderie. 

Wheel chairs drove the route and folks could be heard offering to assist some who seemed challenged by the walk. 

Even one person who got wedged between the bleachers near the White House and needed to have a hand up to get over the offending narrow spot to get loose. Before you laugh too hard please know that I do have feelings too ;). A flock of birds were seated on their own bleacher-porch rail as we went by. Marci and I continued towards Farragut North and I saw Sharon Treat...first Maine person I had seen. (Guess my decision to hang out and wait-which caused me to meet Marci was actually pretty good!) 

Metro was mobbed, but had extra trains on. I met a group who had driven from Milwaukee - 2 days travel- and Sheila from Silver Spring...we exchange email addresses promise to share pictures and we're back in Glenmont. The Transfiguration folks were there to welcome us back with juice, water, snacks and most importantly smiles, hugs and thanks. An amazing day.


Thanks Marge! 



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