The Meaning of the March
The People’s Climate March was filled with such excitement. The closer you got to Central Park West in the morning the more signs and people you saw. The enthusiasm of the youth was compelling. It is their future we are talking about and they understand what is going on. They were willing to be there in numbers and to come from far away. I ran into a group from Appalachian State in Boone, NC. I was thrilled to see a huge contingent from Yale, my alma mater. And the signs, some of which are shown below, were personal and creative and got to the point. It was an experience I will not forget.
But what was that meaning? First I had a dawning recognition that it was really big when it took us over an hour to take the first step even though I was only 1/3 of the march back from the beginning. I can’t imagine how long it took the people on 90th street to get started. The most moving moment came when the moment of silence commenced. This is what I posted on Facebook: “At one point a moment of silence was announced and it got eerily quiet. Then I heard a roaring sound coming from behind and I thought a jet was passing at low altitude above my head. I looked up but didn’t see a plane and then the noise engulfed me and I realized that it was the sound of silence ending.”
My hope is that the meaning is embodied in that phrase “the sound of silence ending”. That 400,000 of us will become 4,000,000 or 40,000,000. While that number isn’t even close to a majority it doesn’t have to be, because the magnitude of people power is number times intensity. And I think that 400,000 intense advocates has a power far greater than that number.
It also means much to me to be reminded that I am not alone in this, not by a long shot. I hope everyone who was there and others understand that there is much work to do to create a stable future for the generations to come. For those of us born in the great baby boom, let us make this change our parting gift.