March For Our Lives

25 Mar


I ordered a shirt one size larger than normal, planning to wear it over my coat, praying that the rain would hold off.

It did, though it was cold and damp. I was glad for my hat and gloves as I waited for the bus that would take me downtown.

I was joined by a teenage boy, then by a senior citizen who was carrying a book entitled On Tyranny. I couldn’t help myself. I asked, “Are you going to the March?” The boy nodded and the senior citizen showed me the quote he had found in the book and typed onto the pages he had rolled up in his hands.

As thrilled as I was to have three generations at the bus stop, the bus had even more march goers. The air was positively humming with excitement and the bus kept filling. The driver asked people to “Move on back” more than once.  We were crossing over the Burnside Bridge when he announced that, because of the March, our bus route would be detoured for a few hours.

“Check to see if things are still detoured before going home,” he encouraged us, and added, “Stay safe and have fun!” The bus erupted into applause.

I met up with my colleagues and we milled about waiting for things to begin. A band, The Unpresidented Brass Band, played as we wandered reading the clever signs people held.


Before too long, the student leaders of the Portland March For our Lives got up on top of a truck to get things moving. We started and stopped a few times before we our momentum was sustained. I cheered on the woman who had volunteered to stand beside the single anti-everything protester, keeping him safe by guiding marchers around him, as he stood on the corner spewing all kinds of hatred.

People on the sidewalk cheered as we walked past. Some jumped off the sidewalk and joined the march. Despite the excitement and my joy at seeing so many people out, I had to hold back the tears. As much as I loved the clever, witty signs around me, my favorite signs were the ones made by young children. I loved them, but they broke my heart. Children shouldn’t have to carry signs like these.

We arrived at Pioneer Square, where the rally was to take place, quicker than I expected. But the rally didn’t begin. people were still coming, And coming and coming. The line stretched endlessly in both directions.

As we waited for the march to end and the program to begin, we encountered people we knew and pointing out more clever signage to each other. Near the end, I saw another sign that just about undid me.


12 Responses to “March For Our Lives”

  1. Christine March 25, 2018 at 6:36 am #

    I was at a March in Boston and I too was very moved by the signs. I wish I took more pictures but it was cold and I was too emotional!
    I saw the Am I Next? sign – hit me hard too!

  2. franmccrackin March 25, 2018 at 7:18 am #

    I was on the lookout for your post today because I wanted to hear your take on the March. I loved how you interspersed text with photographs- very effective. I loved how you featured the kid’s signs. You are so right- they shouldn’t be even thinking these thoughts as little children. What are we doing?
    The passage that most stood out for me, though, was this:
    ‘I cheered on the woman who had volunteered to stand beside the single anti-everything protester, keeping him safe by guiding marchers around him, as he stood on the corner spewing all kinds of hatred.’
    That was such a compassionate act. That is emotional maturity and the best we can be.

  3. Ms Victor Reads March 25, 2018 at 7:47 am #

    It is days like that I can say make me proud to come from the US. I am ever hopeful that change will happen. It is a scary time to be living in the US and I imagine even more so for kids and people of color. Glad to hear you participated.

  4. ebgriffin March 25, 2018 at 8:34 am #

    These moments are so powerful, but it’s so sad that we are in this situation. I’m really hoping that these kids can effect change. They need to know their voices are being heard and that people are listening and making some changes.

  5. arjeha March 25, 2018 at 9:11 am #

    So many voices making such an important statement. Now we need people listening.

  6. franmcveigh March 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

    I’m still amazed by the vile comments spewing from armchairs denouncing the kids, and that they should stop bullying first. I can’t respond in kind but the words I want are still stuck. Anyone who has had an AR15 pointed at them as peers lie dying can darn well say and do what they feel they need to in my book.

  7. elsie March 25, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

    I can only imagine the emotional journey this was. It breaks my heart that students have to do this. I hope a change is coming.

  8. Lisa Corbett March 25, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

    What a BIG experience. So many things to think about. I am heartened by this march. It’s so widespread and covers many demographics. I’m glad people are finally having their voices heard. It’s taken a lot to get to this point.

  9. writingandlaughing March 25, 2018 at 6:19 pm #

    Your words and photos brought tears to my eyes. From the woman protecting the hate-spewing individual to that last sign… so much power. Thank you for sharing this slice.

  10. Brian Rozinsky March 25, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

    I was skimming along, appreciating your perspective on the day’s events. Then, I got to your last pictured sign, and I too was undone.

  11. Melanie Meehan March 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

    The children’s signs broke my heart on Saturday, but the one that really got me was a grandmother holding a photograph of her twelve grandchildren. We all have so much at stake in this. How do we not have effective laws in place after all that’s happened?


  1. #SOL18: March 26 A March March | Resource - Full - March 25, 2018

    […] on this post.  Check out her post, “Marching”, here. Other slices can be found here, here and […]

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