SIGNS OF THE TIMES
By Lydia Bogar
Here we are at Logan Airport on this not-so-quiet weekend morning. Hundreds of women, some with daughters, some with mothers, some with both, some with strollers, and even some with husbands. This first taste of our strength is powerful but not intimidating. It is, in fact, heartwarming.
As newbies to National Airport, we walk through the baggage claim area and a construction zone to reach the Metro station which looks, strangely, like an egg carton. Emerging at Foggy Bottom, we see a mass of signs. Hundreds of signs.
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
We walk forward. Democrats and Republicans–black, brown, red, white and grey–faith in our hearts.
Music surrounds us–old folk songs that I know, some gospel that I learn along the way, songs of protest, songs of hope. Walking from the Ellipse, past Treasury and Commerce. The Washington Monument over our shoulders. We can no longer see the Potomac or the magnificent Lincoln Memorial.
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
“He has to go,” people chant. Whether it is in song, chant, or cheer, we draw strength, courage, and pride from this community of united voices.
All around us, marchers take pictures. Of everyone. Of each other. Of us. Some have camera trouble and ask us to “Take one for me?”
Under an enormous oak on the Mall, I meet a woman I worked with in 1984. Joy spreads through our hearts and across our faces as we recognize each other. A blessing in this sea of faces and signs. Time stands still for five minutes.
WOMEN ARE ANGRY– NATIVE WOMEN, WOMEN IN UNIFORM, RURAL WOMEN…
As we walk back to the Metro, we stop at the Smithsonian Castle to use the bathrooms. Men and women hold doors open for each other, deposit pockets full of trash in barrels set up by the National Park Service, and wish each other a safe trip home. A lady from Arizona doesn’t seem to mind that she will miss her flight. “There will be another,” she smiles.
Our courage and determination have been energized by the men and women around us. We feel blessed by the challenges and friends that this day has given us. We talk about the friends and family we will educate when we get home. We aren’t even tired. Our hearts are strong, and our feet are focused on the path ahead. The date is April 5, 1992.
Twenty-five years later, marching again, we are surround by signs again. Hundreds of signs.
WE WON’T GO BACK!
Former English teacher and health care professional, Lydia Bogar says she’s still not used to this retirement thing. She joined BOLLI in the spring of 2016 after returning home from a stint in South Carolina where she dipped into another OLLI program.