Why I March
January 21, 2020
by Terri LeGrand
In April of 2004, I attended the March for Women’s Lives on the national mall in DC. It was my first march, my first protest. I went alone, driving to Greensboro in the middle of the night to board a bus at Temple Emanuel. I have no recollection now of how I learned about that bus trip or what really compelled me to go other than it was a protest against restrictions on access to abortion and other anti-woman policies. I don’t remember any of the women I met that day, but I remember the camaraderie developed on the six hour ride. I remember looking out over a sea of women and experiencing a thrill of excitement and swell of emotion. I remember being astonished, as a 38 year-old, by the many older women there. It was the first time I had seen an older woman holding an “I cannot believe I still have to protest this…” sign. A sentiment I have seen expressed many, many times since.
Since then, there have been many marches– Pride, Voting Rights, Moral Monday, March for Our Lives. I have marched for marriage equality, women’s rights, racial justice, climate change, and voting rights. While the issues may differ, the people and the spirit of these marches is the same. People coming together to lift their voices together for progress.
I march because being surrounded by thousands of people who share not only my values but also my passion is empowering. I march to be reminded of the diverse coalition of people fighting for the same cause. I march because seeing the young people with their creative signs and strong voices and outlandish outfits gives me hope for the future. I march to be an example to my own children. I march because I believe in the power of collectively raising our voices.
I believe that now we must raise our voices louder than ever. The government has been shut down for a month. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are being forced to work without pay. They are pawning their belongings and visiting food pantries. Women’s health care and reproductive choice remains under attack. Climate change is a very real and present danger. We should be flooding the streets.
I will be there to raise my voice in solidarity. I will be there for HKOJ in Raleigh and at future Women’s Marches and whenever my voice is needed. I hope you will join me.