Witnessing History in D.C. at the March for Our Lives

Melanie's DC internship gave her the chance to attend the March for Our Lives

When I found out the March For Our Lives would be held during my time here, I immediately marked it on my calendar. I felt so privileged to be interning in Washington, D.C. during such an important time and to have the chance to take part in this moment in history.

Melanie attending the March For Our Lives

The day of the march, I headed toward Pennsylvania Avenue with three friends, squeezing into a Metro car with hundreds of people, all with the same intentions of going to the march. The streets surrounding Pennsylvania Avenue were filled with activists holding signs to express their concerns. The same streets I walk every day to go to my internship suddenly had no room for walking space due to the strong crowd. There were people from surrounding states, different ethnicities and different genders, all marching for one cause.

We listened to speeches ranging from an eleven-year-old activist to the granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. As Yolanda King proclaimed her own “I Have a Dream” speech, chills immediately covered my body. Not even 60 years ago, her grandfather was proclaiming those same lines. No one knows what the ultimate result of the March will be, but I do know the younger generation is taking a stand to change the future.

When I got on social media the following morning, I was amazed to see the aerial view photos of the event. I could not believe so many people showed up and that I got to be part of this historic moment.

The atmosphere of the day was nothing short of epic, and I will hold onto the memories of this day for the rest of my life. Only in Washington, D.C. would I get the chance to witness this cycle of history happen.

D.C. interns participating in a protest on The Mall

I was proud to be able to count myself as one of over a million people who showed up at the steps of the United States Capitol that day. It was amazing to be in an atmosphere of leaders and activists practicing their rights as U.S. citizens and calling for change.

Melanie Griffin headshot

Melanie Griffin is a history and African American studies major at The University of Central Arkansas. She has participated in The Washington Center’s 2018 Inside Washington Academic Seminar and the spring 2018 Academic Internship Program. She has the pleasure of interning at the National Archives and Records Administration where she is a part of the Education and Public Programs Staff.

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