By Carolyn Genovesi
February 1, 2017 -- In the early morning hours of January 21, more than 100 local residents boarded buses at Tappen Beach to make the five hour trip to the nation's capital to attend the Women’s March on Washington (WMW). Despite the 2:30 am departure, the buses were filled with women, men and children eager to express their positive messages as the mission of the WMW was for all to stand together in solidarity with their partners and children for the protection of women’s rights, their safety, their health and families and in recognition that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
There were also cars and trains loaded with local people going with friends and families to the sister march in New York City. One group was made up of approximately twenty-five young North Shore moms.
Many participants were wearing handmade pink knitted hats as a symbol of solidarity with women. Locally many of the hats worn to the marches were given by volunteer knitters to the wearer if they donated to either a local charity that helps those in need in the North Shore School District area, or Planned Parenthood.
A North Shore WMW button was also made so that the groups of marchers could recognize one another in the crowd both in D.C. and N.Y. The buttons were sold at K. DiResta Design in Sea Cliff and on the buses with all the proceeds going to charity. The North Shore WMW buttons were admired by and traded with march participants from all over the country in Washington D.C.
Those who attended the Washington D.C. and New York City marches felt the positive energy and enthusiasm associated with the purpose of the march, which was held the day after the inauguration of President Trump to send a bold message to the new administration that the spirit of democracy honors the champions of human rights, dignity and justice.
Jane Ringrose, a Glenwood Landing resident, who went on the buses to Washington D.C. said,“being part of the march, wearing my pink knitted hat, surrounded by thousands of like-minded women and men was empowering. What does democracy feel like? That’s what democracy feels like.”
Others felt the same positive feeling of unity.
"The women’s march was an experience that far exceeded my expectations," said Kathleen Valentine a Sea Cliff resident and participant in the D.C. demonstration. "It was a loving and bonding experience to meet and join with strong and thoughtful women in my own community and meaningful to witness the solidarity with so many, to stand up for human rights. God bless America.”
As a result of this march many people who participated have been emboldened to participate in democracy both nationally and locally, with Facebook pages being opened and local meetings being organized.
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