One in a Million
By Ginger Ketelsen

To be accurate I was one in “half a million” mostly females, at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21, 2017, an amazing experience! One reaction to the election of our now 45th president was to respond to a call to march, a call to communicate, a call to be seen and heard. As it turned out many responded and in many locations. I traveled by Michigan Education Association bus caravan with my daughter, Kristin and two other friends. We left the Detroit area on Friday night at 11 p.m. and returned on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. Fortunately, we were not riding a yellow school bus so we were comfortable and somewhat able to sleep. The weather in D.C. was cloudy and mild so no complaints there.

The “March” itself was more a “Stand and Shuffle.” D.C. Metro counts stated 500,000 passing through the turnstiles. Saying it was crowded would be an understatement. But, what a crowd! Chanting, cheering, pink hats, buttons, t shirts waving signs sharing a mission with strangers. No violence at any of the marches was reported. The only sign of violence that I witnessed was when someone attempted to take cuts in a porta-john line.

Costumes and signage ran the continuum from crude to clever. Michelle Obama had sent a message, “When they go low, we go high.” A good number of people missed that memo. Others were artistic, instructive and inspiring, even humorous. Some of my favorites:

“GOOD MOURNING AMERCIA” –– a banner carried by two ladies in black.
“WE ARE WATCHING!” –– a sign adorned with very large googly eyes.
“MY MUSLIM WIFE IS REGISTERED . . . at Bed, Bath and Beyond.”
“WE STILL HAVE A DREAM” (Ginger Ketelsen)

Returning home on Sunday I was able to hear the speeches and news reports on line and see the photos from all across our country. I was glad that I participated and though I was tired, I had hope . . . hope that people are paying attention, watching, listening, writing letters, phoning legislators, having civil conversations with others, supporting threatened neighbors. I am hoping the protests will continue and that much of the dishonesty, hypocrisy and evil will be confronted and eradicated . . . that we can make America HONORABLE again.

How our country and our planet will weather this storm is yet to be seen. What will I do to remain active? What will you do?
Photos courtesy of Wayne and Louise Dalton