A group of local kids and their parents decided to end what had been a stressful political week on an upbeat note Friday with a “Kids Rally for Peace” at Fairway Park.
About 100 people, most of them grade-school age kids, waved signs and chanted peaceful slogans like “Be Kind” and “No to Bullying” to cars passing by on Mission Road. It was their response to all the turmoil adults had been causing in recent months.
“It all got started on Wednesday night,” said Dawn Thibodeau. “We were watching the news and saw some of the protests and Maddie said ‘I’d like to do a rally for kids and make it peaceful, and positive and uplifting.'”
So Maddie Thibodeau, 12, got a Facebook campaign going to encourage kids to come to Fairway Park from 4-4:30 p.m. for a rally. They brought their signs and balloons and pets and parents to share her positive message.
“Kids are the future of our country,” Maddie said. “Everything we do now affects our future. It’s important that the country stay great. We want our voices heard.”
The parade of young demonstrators marched a couple loops around the park before settling in for cheering and chanting along Mission Road. It turned out to be a beautiful fall afternoon with colorful trees and a cool blue sky.
Some motorists honked as they passed by the rally and heard the peaceful words.
“I wanted to show that I choose kindness,” said Meg Gunderman, 12.
Her 15-year-old sister Anna added, “I think there is a lot of hate going around now and I want to encourage people that there’s still goodness.”
James Schipfer, 13, was there to “show that peace is better than hate and being happy is better than sad.”
It was a healing message after a bruising campaign season.