I Marched to Join Others Who Would Speak Out

Photo Credit – Sara Sawatzki, Open Road Photographer 2017

It was a last minute decision!  It wasn’t that I was unsympathetic to the announced Women’s March on January 7, 2017, but I, as too often is the case, didn’t know if my marching would be of any significance.  That morning I watched on television many men, women, and children in the eastern state begin to gather as the marches started.  The closest march that I was aware of was to be held at 2:00 p.m. in Lincoln, some 60 miles away from our small rural town of Geneva. It was 10:30 a.m. when I made the decision to march.  I called several friends, and by 11:00 a.m. we had a group of five, four women (all grandmothers) and one young man (a junior in college), ready to take part in “the unknown.”

We drove to Lincoln and joined a huge crowd at the University of Nebraska Student Union.  We had no idea how many were expected, but we later learned the organizers had hoped for 1,000, 2,000 pre-registered, and approximately 4,000 marched.  It was a moving sight to see multi-generational family groups, many men, and various ethnic groups joining the “women.”

I marched because I have two granddaughters who are approaching the age when they will want and need to have a choice about their reproductive rights.

I marched because one of those granddaughters attends Omaha Central, the most ethnically diverse high school in the state.  She is bi-racial, but since the “opening of Trump’s Pandora’s box” of anti-women, anti-racial, and anti-LGBT hatred, she and her friends have been accosted with remarks never heard before.  It is as though some Americans have been given permission to spew words of hatred, bigotry, or misogyny that have been long suppressed.

I marched because I value the right to vote, and I fear that voter rights will be negatively impacted by confirmation of some of Trump’s cabinet nominations.

I marched because I was a teacher in the public schools for over 30 years, and I believe that education is a right of all, not just the rich.

I marched because I am the daughter of a farmer who honored the land, and I believe that the position the Trump administration has on climate change is uninformed and dangerous for the future of our race.

I marched; I have called senators; I have worked in my community to promote positive ideas.  In all my 76 years I have never feared to speak out, and I marched to join others who would speak out against the potential horrors of this Trump presidency.