I’d never heard of International Women’s Day before this year. This day, intended to celebrate achievements of women past, present and future, had never existed as part of my schema. I think, like many women in our society, I was disconnected from what the previous generations of women had done for me. Now in it’s 100th year, I’m awaking to our history, and a deep appreciation is blossoming along with a bond and a link to women who have overcome. Their voices are furthered today through our own.
As part of the global “Join me on the Bridge” campaign, we stood on our bridge in Neptune Beach, Florida on March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Day. Remembering our past, healing into our present, and looking toward a future of peace and development. I was so pleased to be a part of the worldwide movement and felt the power and unity that is “the magic in the air” when women gather. We were not alone. Women all across the world were marching over bridges, joining handmade fabrics displaying images and messages of peace. Even those living in countries ravaged by war. The women of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda participated, and said that peace means being able to live and work freely, and to walk to the fields without fear of rape.
We thought of these women as we stood there next to the ocean that borders their continent. We held them in our silence and in our hearts. And while we aimed to support them by our presence that day, it is those women – the ones imagining peace despite the violence they’ve endured – who are uplifting us.