People marched on 1/21. These are their stories: Elena Rose

Going to this March felt so important to me, I honestly thought I would be forever disappointed if I wasn’t there. And not just going to NYC or Boston or to a local March, although they are all as important as the one in DC. With my husband being away for 2 weeks and having no family around I was determined to figure out how to get there. I begged my best friend to come from the city and stay with my daughters for 2 nights. My best friend was born and raised in Kazakhstan, he is Russian and gay. He also escaped Russia. I told him I was Marching for him too!

He agreed, and looked after my girls and my puppy as well as our chickens and goats :) leaving at 2.30 a.m., getting to DC at 7 a.m., walking all day, getting back to Rhinebeck at 2.30 a.m. and back home made it the most important 24 hours. My daughters were so proud of me, they take turns wearing my pink hat to school.

I was born into the Russian army in Kazakhstan and moved with military families around the eastern block. At 6 years old we lived in a three room apartment in Moscow with three families and a schedule for using the kitchen. Expectations for women in Moscow in the 80’s were low and graft and corruption were rife. I came to America as an immigrant to start a life in a freer and fairer society and worked for more than ten years with people with disabilities before starting a small business in Rhinebeck. I’m proud to be a naturalized American now but I’m concerned that the current administration does not respect and protect the foundations that the country is built on including woman’s rights and immigrants. I have a tattoo of a safety pin as a symbol that isolationist anti immigration policy is backward looking and fosters distrust and hatred. The feeling of not belonging and feeling like I wasted so many years of my life working to be a valuable citizen of this country is overwhelming. Knowing that so many people voted for this president based on his opinion on immigration is discouraging and quite hurtful. I went to Washington in hopes of being a part of an incredible movement and it was certainly achieved in my opinion. It was extremely emotional and positive.

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