SOLC 2018–Day 25: Marching

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March 2018 SOLC–Day 25
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
http://www.twowritingteachers.org

DSCN2919.jpg“Molly!”

I turned awkwardly in the crowd, and there was Cindy–friend, colleague and fellow slicer (Mainer in Training). We were in the midst of hundreds and hundreds of people gathering for the March for Life in Portland, Maine. And yet she’d seen me. Amazing! Both of us were on our own, feeling that it was important to add to the numbers, to make a statement with our presence and participation. As the crowd grew, we chatted, talked about our shared concerns, read signs together and marveled at the turnout.

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After a while, at some invisible signal, a cheer rose up and the crowd surged forward, banners high. We marched down Congress Street with thousands of others. A sea of peaceful protest.

Why did I march? I marched for our children because I am heartsick over the growing number of lives lost and our inaction as a nation. I marched because I hoped that a show of solidarity would elicit a meaningful national response and common sense changes in gun control laws. I marched because I’m angry and disgusted that politicians have abdicated their responsibilities. I marched because I was determined to stand up against the insanity.  Because I can’t accept that our country’s primary response to gun violence in schools is to have lockdown drills and bulletproof backpacks. Or armed teachers. I marched because I don’t want to have another child say to  me: “You know why I did so good during the drill? I was really quiet ’cause I didn’t want anyone to shoot me.”

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As we marched past the First Parrish Church,  bells began to toll, loud and clear in the chilled air.

“Are they ringing because of the time?”

We checked. It was 10:46. No, it wasn’t the time. The bells were tolling in solidarity with the marchers. The clarion call of those bells rising into the air above us packed an emotional wallop. Tears rushed to my eyes.

After I blinked them away, the next thing I saw was a young child in a stroller. A sign was strapped in before her. “Will I Be Next?” it asked.

I couldn’t take a picture.

I marched.

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “SOLC 2018–Day 25: Marching

  1. Very powerful post. The marchers and the speakers at all of the events were inspiring. The stroller sign, “Will I be next?” brought me to tears. Maybe this time the NRA has met its match.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jodimahoney says:

    Thank you for marching. Thank you for documenting your experience. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a turning point.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cindaroo42 says:

    Great ending- like it did yesterday, it brought tears to my eyes. You truly captured the somber mood perfectly with the bell and the signs. So glad we got to experience it together!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Samantha Marquardt says:

    This post captures a picture of this march and reiterates the importance of us all standing together in solidarity for our kids. Your words paint a powerful picture as do the signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ureadiread says:

    The child’s comment about the lockdown bowled me over. And the stroller sign. If only Congress will be moved as you’ve moved us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Adrienne says:

    I marched in Portland, OR and was moved to laughter and tears by the signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dmsherriff says:

    This slice gave me chills. I agree with all you have said and applaud your passion as you stood up for change. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That girl with the “Will I Be Next?” was at our rally, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your ending gave me chills. The bells then the child. I cannot even reflect properly on your slice because there are tears in my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Shawn says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. What an amazing day yesterday! The bells ringing sent chills as I read your slice. It is sad that we have to hope there are “no next ones” – we shouldn’t have to hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amazingly powerful post. Every parent and every child along with every teacher should feel safe as we carrying on the important work of growing and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. margaretsmn says:

    These marches hit many of us in the gut and heart. That end..woosh…more tears. I feel like a kindred spirit with you. I wish we could’ve marched together.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Molly,

    Thanks for Marching for our kids, for our teachers and for sanity.

    Purviben
    @TrivediZiemba
    https://trivediziemba.edublogs.org

    Liked by 1 person

  14. […] And special thanks to Margaret Simon for the helpful advice on this post.  Check out her post, “Marching”, here. Other slices can be found here, here and here. […]

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