The following is a letter to the editor of the Maryville Daily Forum, published Jan. 31, 2017, written by Nina Dewhirst.
On January 21, I was privileged to be part of the Women’s March in Kansas City. Well, it wasn’t really a march. It was a rally. But it was one of the most inspiring events of my life. First, let me say, I am a Democrat — both with a small “d” and a capital one. I am conservative in my own lifestyle but am liberal about the lifestyles of others. On January 21, I accompanied six other members of the new “Nodaway County Democrats” to Kansas City. That rally was truly “democracy in action.” What I saw on Saturday was not whining or complaining — but a “let’s get to work” attitude. Women, children, and men (yes, lots of them) were present. Their signs showed concern for issues like The Affordable Care Act, the rights of immigrants, raising the minimum wage, and voting rights. One rabbi speaker even volunteered to register as a Muslim if there were a national Muslim registry. Perhaps those who are Jewish have a special “inside track” about discrimination. The mood of the crowd was uplifting, joyous, and hopeful. It was uplifting to know I wasn’t alone in my concerns for others. It was joyous because of kindness shown through the words and actions of speakers and audience members. And it was hopeful because I felt empowered to change the future. All in all, the weather was beautiful, the company was wonderful, the speakers were inspiring. The rally reminded me, again, why I am so proud to be an American.
— Nina Dewhirst