A combat Army veteran, Duckworth lost both legs co-piloting a helicopter in Iraq in 2004. She handily defeated former Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican, in the 2016 election to reclaim former President Barack Obama’s Senate seat for the Democrats.
“This is about our country,” Duckworth said Saturday, “I didn’t shed blood to defend this nation – I didn’t give up literally parts of my body — to have the Constitution trampled on.”
“I did not serve, along with the men and women in our armed forces,” she continued, “to have them roll back our rights.”
Duckworth, who said she brought her 2-year-old daughter to the march, made specific mention of the Americans with Disabilities Act because “without the ADA, I would not be here today.”
She also encouraged the crowd of approximately 500,000 people to stay involved and active in the political process.
“This is what it’s about – it’s about you going home after today and standing up and fighting in your communities,” she said. “Don’t take what you do today and don’t let it end. Take it home, run for office yourselves. Get out there,” she added.
The rally in Washington was the largest of more than 600 "sister marches" planned around the world - including the Women's March on Chicago that drew an estimated 250,000 people.