When I get to the parade hours before it starts, the streets are empty and quiet. No coffee shops are open. Lots of parking. I check in, get my radio, put on my day glo vest and a bullhorn, then I wait. As marchers trickle into the plaza with their signs, I get the last briefing from the police and head out to my post. Once in position, I tune out everything but my task - to safely move thousands of people from point A to point B. I try to snap a pic or two, but quickly and subtly.
When I get home, exhausted and exhilarated, I am always disappointed at how empty my camera roll is, but accept it, and revisit the day through the postings on my feed.
How lovely this year to find this shot a few days later.
It was 11:05, and time to start walking, but the crowds were still streaming in from every direction. This time, it wasn't up to us to decide, but to the student organizers. I stepped through the photo line to tell David we would go on his signal. The press and others yelled at me to move, but it was important to me that the students knew the safety team was there to support them, and only they could decide when to start moving 25 thousand people through the streets of San Jose.
I will always treasure this memory and love that someone captured it and understood its relevance.
J. / Safety Monitor Captain