How grateful they must be — the people, women mostly, who flock to Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, just to stand in the presence of Susan B. Anthony.
“It was really amazing. Like I wasn’t reading from a textbook anymore — I was with her,” said Emma Mittiga. She came to the grave of Susan B. Anthony for what is becoming a Rochester tradition: showing the suffragist in a very tangible way that her work was not in vain.
After Anthony died in 1906, her grave went mostly unnoticed. But four years ago, about 10,000 people showed up to put their “I voted” stickers on her headstone.
That gesture came with unintended consequences. Unfortunately, the gummy residue of all that affection was damaging the marble. So this year, they covered her headstone with a Plexiglass sleeve, allowing for layers of tributes for generations to come.
Sarah Campagna brought her daughter Clara. “She worked so hard her whole life,” Sarah told Clara. “She died not even knowing if it would happen.”
“We’re not going to have children who will take those next steps for us if we don’t educate them now,” Sarah told CBS News.
Karen Moretti says we also need to educate a lot of adults.
“I haven’t always been so passionate,” she said.
“It’s almost like we took it for granted,” said CBS News.
“Were you in our car on the way coming here? Because I said to her, ‘I can’t believe I was so clueless for many parts of my life.’ And now I am so passionate,” Moretti responded.
During our day at the gravesite, we saw that passion takes many forms, from downright jubilation to overwhelming emotion.
The only constant was the way people put on their stickers: all of them with such tenderness as if rubbing liniment into the injustice.
It was healing, which is why I believe voting should always be a two-step process. First a ballot, and then a nod to all those who made this sacred right possible.
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