It's turned out to be one of the largest rallies in the nation's capital in years and Westchester was well represented.
An estimated 500,000 of people from all over the country gathered in Washington, D.C., Saturday, a day after Bedford estate owner Donald Trump was inaugurated as the nation's 45th president, for the Women’s March, a larger-than-anticipated gathering of those who say they are deeply worried about the Trump administration and its impact on women's rights and civil liberties.
“A most incredible day," Katonah resident Judy Aydelott said. "Though the subject matter of the march was serious and vital to all present, the atmosphere was jubilant and uplifting.
"As we stood among the marchers waiting for a chance to move forward or back, I met women from Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Chicago, Seattle, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., literally from all over the country, who wanted to make a statement and did so with good humor, poise and commitment.”
Aydelott left Katonah for the ride to D.C. at around 3 a.m. Saturday on one of approximately 3,000 buses from throughout the country that reportedly were employed for the event.
"Despite the crush of people everyone is friendly, in good moods, singing and chanting from all over the country," Aydelott said. "What impressed me most was that there are so many people out there like me, and I know the numbers give us a lot of power to make a difference going forward.”
Organizers decided the crowd was too big to formally march to the White House.
“This was an absolutely inspiring journey," said Jane Graham of Katonah, who was joined by her sister Louisa Bliss visiting from Bethlehem, N.H. "What impressed me most was that there are so many people out there like me, and I know the numbers give us a lot of power to make a difference going forward.”
Said Louisa Bliss: “I’m most concerned about the lack of ethics in the new Administration that the march addressed, particularly Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns and the extent of his assets.”
A family of four from Katonah made their way down to D.C.: Mills Reed, a 16-year-old junior at John Jay High School, his father John, mother Licia Sandberg and brother Sawyer, 13, a student at John Jay Middle School.
The signs were great," Mills said. "People standing up for what they believe. Totally inspiring.”
Said John Reed: “This was a good organizational first start to gather up grievances against the administration from LGBT rights to women’s rights, to immigration and many more.”
Licia Sandberg called it “a fabulous expression of our frustrations."
Said Sawyer: “I’m concerned about the environment. I want it protected, and I don’t see that happening with Trump. This was an amazing experience.”
Kathi Fay, who was joined by her daughter Lucy of Katonah, said she “couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was. Even though there was bitterness among some marchers, no one was out of control. There was absolutely no security, no detectors to go through and no police presence. And the march was totally peaceful and uplifting.”
Said Lucy, a student at John Jay High School: “I was very proud to be a part of the march. I am so glad that I went.”
After originally anticipating around 200,000 to attend, organizers say the total amount of people attend the Washington march could wind up being around half a million, which would surpass the crowd for Friday's inauguration.
The March on Washington was one of many rallies that are being held throughout the nation, including a larger-than-expected gathering in New York City and in the Hudson Valley, including in White Plains, Poughkeepsie and Beacon.
In addition to the $19.5-million Spring Springs estate in Bedford, Trump also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.
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