I wish I could have written this right after it happened but better late than never, right?
On Friday, January 20, 2017, the United States changed forever. A new president was sworn in and the world watched while shocked and amazed as to how this could happen. A dear friend of mine, my middle school history and religion teacher, Facebook messaged me in November, after the “election”, about a march that was being organized for the day after the inauguration. I was all in and booked a flight as soon as I could for the morning of January 20th.
I was on the plane going out of Tampa International at the crack of dawn. About 3/4 of the passengers were on their way to the march. I met amazing people and learned so much about how this election has affected so many people from all walks of life. My heart raced as we got closer and closer to Baltimore-Washington International.
I checked into my hotel, Live! Lofts, grabbed some coffee from the lobby, and got an Uber to Busboys and Poets on 5th and K St. It was chilly and raining; very suiting for the day that lies ahead.
I took a seat at the bar next to a man who was so stuck on the television that I don’t think he realized that I had bumped him while sitting down. The look on his face made my heart ache and as I looked across the room, I saw that everyone was feeling the same things.We were all connected by our pain and anger. Once in a while, a wave of boos, sighs, or unkind remarks would echo through the room. We all sat in disbelief when it was all said and done. He was the new president of the United States. I paid my bill and made my way to the sidewalk. The city was crowded but quiet. You would hear the occasional police siren, a person on a cell phone, or yell from a distance but other than that the part of the city I was in was uncomfortably solemn.
I walked around for an hour or so and found myself in the middle of Oak Hill Cemetery when the rain started to come down hard. I had an Uber pick me up soaking wet and cold and I apologized for getting so much water in his car. The man had news videos playing on one of the phones that were mounted on his dashboard. I sunk into the seat and was staring out the window at the dark gray sky the whole ride back to Baltimore.
The next morning we were up before the sun and made our way to the airport to catch a bus to the march rally. It was a long ride because of the traffic but we had a good time talking with people and exchanging stories.
When we pulled into the city we saw a sea of people in pink hats flooding the streets of D.C. It was beautiful.
If I recall correctly, we took the train from Navy Yard to L’Enfant Plaza. When we got to the street there were a few men yelling “WHAT THE F***, AMERICA?!” and were selling hats. Of course, I had to get one.
She and I then walked to 3rd St. and Independence Ave., where the rally was being held. It felt like everyone in the US had gathered in the blocks around the National Mall.
There were people watching through the windows of office buildings and children in trees.
Children, seniors, wheelchairs, strollers, bikers, and anyone you could possibly imagine was there to support the movement and resist against the injustice that has been occurring in our country.
I understand that everyone has their own views and that we should respect each other’s opinions, given they do not have ill-will towards others. If your political views lean towards directly hurting people, I choose not respect your opinions.
The energy and art that surrounded me were fantastic. I wish I could find the artist of Earth having Trump in a chokehold so I can buy a copy to hang on my wall.
The following day I walked proudly through the streets, seeing so many familiar faces and also running into the few men decked out in confederate flags and “Make America Great Again” hats. I hope the reason they looked so upset was that they realized they were greatly outnumbered. Trump supporters and conservative media were extremely butt-hurt about the White House and Trump Hotel being lined with the posters from the march.
Great decorating. The best decorating. Even kids love it. The resistance is “yuuuge”.