It was not the usual crowd that gathered at the Halifax Commuter rail station last Saturday morning. Unlike our typical bunch of commuters that have the trip down to a science, half of Saturday’s passengers had not taken the train into Boston and mistakenly stood across the tracks on what one would think was the inbound platform.
Calls from the opposite platform hailed: “If you’re headed to Boston you need to be over here.” This friendly gesture of one side reaching out to the other struck me as symbolic to what many feel has been lost in our country. However, it was not lost that morning at Halifax Station.
Together, residents of Carver, Halifax and Plympton boarded a train, already crowded with people from Kingston and Plymouth, bound for the Boston Common to join thousands of others in the January 21st Women’s March.
As a weekday commuter I am used to self absorbed silent passengers with heads buried in phones and laptops, but this was an animated friendly kitty-cap-clad crowd – chatting and introducing themselves to each other. The cordial hubbub of conversation was bolstered by an unspoken understanding of like minds with a shared purpose: to support the rights of women and minorities in a country more diverse than the rural communities in which we live.
Fran Lindgren, the Express’ Calendar Girl, drove in with her husband the night before to stay in a hotel nearby, not wanting to chance missing a minute of the march. Why was it so important to her to be there?
“More than one older woman remarked that they never thought they would have to fight for our rights again. I’m not sure if the younger crowd even knows what it was like when the only careers open to women were teaching, nursing or secretarial,” she said.
“I went, not only for myself, but for others, including my 100-year-old aunt and those who had to work, like the gals at the hairdressers and our buddy who works a register at the Stop & Shop.”
She also said that she saw a notice on social media from Boston Chief of Police William Evans complementing all participants on their behavior.
. There were only four incidents and all were medical.
Women and men all over the world came together to support human rights and peaceful congregation. Ghandi would be proud.