By Madeline Moore ’17
Last November, I anticipated the country making history by electing the first woman ever as president of the United States. In fact, my sister and I had already booked our tickets to Washington, D.C. so we could attend the inauguration. Instead, like so many others, we experienced the shock of a lifetime when the election results showed that Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote, but Donald Trump had won the Electoral College – and the presidency.
Soon after hearing the election results, my sister and I heard about The Women’s March in D.C. and we knew we had to go. The inauguration would not be the historic one we had hoped for, but now we were going to make new history.
We arrived a day early to get settled into our hotel room and to get a good night’s rest for what lay ahead: We were going to the inauguration of Donald Trump. The morning was grey and cloudy as we made our way down to breakfast where we were greeted with the sight of “Make America Great Again” memorabilia. Making our way to the inauguration we were swarmed with people cheering Trump’s name and carrying signs saying “Latinas for Trump,” “Women For Trump,” “Everyone For Trump.” The new president’s face was visible on placards everywhere as NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” blasted on a sound system, followed by the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (ironically).
Finally those gathered on the mall could see Trump’s face on the monitor for the swearing-in ceremony. There were cheers and screams of joy. Later, there were boos when President Barack Obama appeared on the screen. As we waited in the cold, the camera panned next to Hillary Clinton’s face. The words that came out of the people’s mouths around me astounded me. It was difficult for me to hold back the tears after seeing these two people whom I admired being yelled at by others in the crowd. I knew I had to get out of there, so we left.
After having had one of the worst days of my life I knew I had to make tomorrow the best d
ay. We woke up greeted to a sea of pink hats in the lobby of our hotel and on the train (which was packed). The Women’s March was invigorating and life changing. The speeches that I heard were said by amazing women, such as America Ferrera, Kamala Harris, Gloria Steinem, Scarlett Johansson, Angela Davis, Michael Moore, Alicia Keys, Ashley Judd, and SO many more. They spoke about giving women basic human rights, and how we will not be silenced. We were encouraged to work harder to fight for what is fair and just.
We were greeted with open arms by strangers that we did not know who were all there to fight for women’s rights and social justice. We marched on Washington until we finally called it quits. Hunger had set in and we sought out a falafel shop. The streets of Washington were packed with women chanting, carrying posters, and wearing knitted pink hats, hours after the march had ended. More than 500,000 women showed up, which was more than the inauguration. Participating in
this march gave me hope for the years to come.