As we’ve said, we’ve been coping with a fire hose of garbage out of the White House. It’s been ugly and demoralizing. But it’s ok! Because we still marched. There are millions of us who are in the same boat. Marching was not enough, but in dark times, we need to be reminded of the good that was the march so we can be brave and act.

A few weeks ago, we sent out a call for submissions. We thrilled by the response. Stories, photos, and videos from across the country. Today, we start with a few stories and photos from West Virginia. Let’s hear why our fellow citizens marched.

Holly Shanholtzer shares her story of marching in Charleston, WV. 67% of the voters in West Virginia voted from Trump. No single county voted for Clinton. That said, there was great enthusiasm for the Charleston Women’s March.

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Hello, my name is Holly and I arched in Charleston, WV on January 21, 2017. First of all, they were hoping for about 100 people and over 3,000 showed up. It was very overwhelming and beautiful. There were tears based on fear, love, hope, and bonding. I felt like I HAD to march. We have to do something. I didn’t feel like it was a protest at all but rather a time to express ourselves and feel some sort of empowerment again. It worked! I left that day feeling a sense of hope that I haven’t felt in a long time. We have to keep the momentum going. Changes are happening faster than we anticipated and we need to continue to this feeling and not let our guard down. We are the protectors now.

Julia Hamilton also marched in Charleston, WV. (And shout out to Julia for reminding us that we still need to show up!)

I march because I believe it is critical for all of us to be actively engaged in the political process. If we do not participate in the process, we’re likely to be steamrolled by it. There are too many issues facing us to just not care. What kind of world do we want for our children? It’s really that simple. It is difficult to believe that we are still having debates about whether or not we should take better care of our planet. It’s unfathomable to me that we are still waging war for control over our own bodies. But this movement has showed that we are indeed waking up, and we are SHOWING up — to marches, to our representatives’ offices, to school board meetings, to town hall sessions. We are showing up. Whether we are there to stand against the repeal of healthcare, the Dakota Access Pipeline, corporate greed, reproductive rights challenges — regardless of reason, we stand TOGETHER.

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Our last image of the day comes from Decorah, IA, a small college town in northeast Iowa. Braving cold weathers and despite the small size of the town, hundreds of folks came out in support, taking up Main Street in the process. 

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Many thanks to Holly, Julia, and Marilyn for sharing your photos and stories. We would still love to hear yours! Please send to fiveminutesaction@gmail.com. We will continue to publish our memories of the march to remind us of the good we can accomplish.