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The Aegis
The Aegis Opinion

Keep marching, it's the American Way [Editorial]

Danielle Wainwright, of Abingdon, her mother, Mary, and Audrey Erikson, of Joppa, hold signs during the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Friday.

There's nothing more American than showing up and saying your piece.

In a span of eight days, Harford County residents joined people from across our great country who went to Washington, D.C., to show their support for whatever position on the political spectrum has caught their fancy.

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The most recent was Saturday when Pro-Life activists boarded buses in Harford County and joined hundreds of thousands of like-minded folks in the nation's capital to show their support for the unborn and their opposition to abortion.

"It's really been a blessing because people are just coming out of the woodwork and want to support the March for Life, support the sanctity of life," Kathy Sangmeister, a Bel Air resident volunteer, said.

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The March for Life has been an annual event reaffirming the pro-fetus, anti-abortion stance of the fervent pro-lifers.

This year's rally seemed to have extra enthusiasm as those supporting the cause have been energized by the election of President Trump, who has said he's against abortion. In addition, Trump will be nominating a new Supreme Court justice, presumably another conservative, who will ostensibly break the general 4-4 tie that has existed since Justice Antonin Scalia died last year.

"This is a time for healing, this is a time for coming together and it's a time to say we value life," Sangmeister said. "It's an awesome experience."

That last sentence just about sums up the American Way of Life, which was on display for more than a week, not just Friday when Harford County residents joined the March for Life.

The previous Friday was the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who was well supported by Harford voters, but who is far from beloved. Regardless of where people fall on the political spectrum, watching the orderly, peaceful transition from one president to a new president, who couldn't be more different from his predecessor, should be a source of patriotic pride.

Trump, obviously, is polarizing. He's also a one-man stampede or a human bulldozer, with a reputation among his devotees of being a straight shooter.

The veracity of some of his biggest public statements say otherwise, but that's some of what endears him to his supporters, who view him as someone who shoots from the hip. His detractors believe much of those shots are misfires.

Nonetheless, a new president was installed, without incident, in a proper ceremony. That alone makes the United States unique in the world.

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What also makes the USA unique is that the following day a huge crowd filled D.C. for a march to support women.

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Many saw the huge crowd the day after Trump's inauguration as a protest against the new president. For some, it was. But it was far from the only reason.

Delane Lewis, a Bel Air resident and founder of Together We Will – Harford County Upper Chesapeake, said the experience was "amazing."

"It was amazing, it was really amazing," she said. "The emotions as we were walking in and just to see a literal sea of women mainly just rolling in, all the pink hats, it just was mind-blowing."

Lewis and her daughter marched together in an experience she said was "wonderful."

"It was just a moment where women were claiming their political power, and I think it was a pretty powerful message where you look at how many women came out across this country and across the world, and all for different reasons," she said.

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For the past two weeks or so, the best of our country has been on display. A new president, who is beloved by some and whom others despise, takes over. People fill Washington the day after he formally became president to show their unhappiness with the new elected leader.

All of it happened with little violence. No matter the reason, speaking up or marching for whatever you believe in is as American as it gets.


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