Cold for Alaskans means it has to meet the -20 threshold. If it’s above -20, many of us consider the weather not too bad. On Saturday, March 24th, the weather was somewhere between 20-30 above zero. A perfect day to be outside and for Fairbanksans to hold a rally in support of March For Our Lives movement.
I arrived at Golden Heart Plaza 15 minutes before the speeches began. It was a last minute decision really. I had planned on attending, and marching. I wanted to witness history–even in what many would consider a small city (Fairbanks, Alaska is quite small compared to the cities that I grew up in).
I wore my short trench coat, and my boots–of course I layered with a heavy sweater, and thick wool socks. I did not, however, wear my blanket scarf that I’m often seen running around in–sometimes, even covering half of my face where you can only see my eyes. My daughter wasn’t with me as she was held up at ballet class and rehearsals–on Saturdays, she can be found at the ballet studio for 5 hours. Plus, she had participated at her school walk-out where she proudly carried her sign. My husband, on the other hand, stayed in the car. While he is very conservative and thoughtful on social matters, he prefers to remain neutral on all political issues. I respect that.
I was on my own. No tribe with me. But, I was grateful to have witnessed a group of people who stood out under that beautiful sun carrying their signs. The speakers spoke eloquently with their stories, and demonstrated their beliefs. I was also amazed to be able to see a young woman by the name of Haley Vonder Haar who I mentioned in my previous essay of A Vindication of Warriors speak her truth.
It’s different for Alaskans when it comes to the gun debate. Children grew up respecting the guns in their home, and learning how to hunt at a young age. My boys were taught gun safety, and spent the first few weeks of September hunting for moose with their dad, and grandpas.
That said, we are a state divided when it comes to gun reform laws–but, on March 24th, many of those who may have different views marched on alongside with elementary to high school students.
Before I left, I took in a breath, and looked out across the bridge and was grateful to be exactly where I was meant to be.
The morning of the march, I watched a live coverage on MSNBC, and caught this gem that made my day: