Body Count

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My daughter and I traveled to Washington for the Women's March. As it turned out, the March did not march. And it couldn't have been more wonderful.

We flowed toward the rally point with hundreds of others, stopping when we hit the wall of early risers there before us. This would be our spot for the next four hours as we were quickly sealed in by others.

Though we were not far from the stage it became clear that we would not see or hear the speakers. We flew across the country for this 3 x 3 foot patch on the Mall? We talked about going back to the hotel to watch the rally on TV but escape was impossible. We were dots in a sea of people - of diverse people, boys, girls, men, women. And so much gray hair! Eyes that had seen this before. An extremely tall man was implored by an elderly woman, "Tell us what you can see from up there!" He stopped, turned in a slow circle -- like our own human periscope -- and reported, "It is a solid sea of people, as far as I can see, in all directions." His report was met with silence, even reverence, then a loud cheer.

And at that moment I knew my daughter and I were exactly where we needed to be. In this spot on the Mall, surrounded by beautiful, terrified, determined, hopeful people. It wasn't about the speeches or even the march. Our job was simply to be there, part of the body count. A body count across the country, across the world, too big to be ignored.

As the rally was ending, word spread that there would be no march. There was no place to go because there were just too many people. Slowly, the crowd began to flow out in all directions, filling D.C. streets in peaceful, joyful celebration.


In the next few days I will go online and listen to the speakers and their calls to action. But for those four hours, at our little spot, just being there, and being counted, was inspiration enough.

With a Perspective, I'm Lynn Fleming.

Lynn Fleming lives on the Peninsula. Her daughter turned 18 at the march, and will soon be registering to vote.