March for Life
Rochester Area Right To Life
Reflections by A First-Time Participant
Last month I traveled from Rochester, N.Y. to Washington D.C. to take part in the January 22nd pro-life activities marking the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. This was the first time that I participated in this yearly event. It was most inspiring.
The trip itself was a bit challenging: leave the frozen landscape of Rochester at 10 p.m. on a bus filled with fellow-travelers, ride all night (barely sleeping), and arrive in D.C. at 6 a.m. The return trip commenced at 4:30 p.m. and ended with a snowy return home at 2:15 a.m. a long day.
We went first to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to celebrate a mass. The church was filled with other pilgrims of all ages. On the lower level were many people with sleeping bags who had spent the night there in prayer. Everyone there was on a mission.
Following the service we hurried to the Metro to reach the central part of D.C., where we visited our congressional representatives office. His aide informed us that the congressman (Tom Reynolds) would vote for a ban on all cloning.
Next, it was on (foot) to the Washington Monument, the rallying point for the March for Life. We had dressed for the cold and were thankful for the sunshine and the lack of snow. Still, it was rather uncomfortable to be outside for an hour at a time. Our discomfort was mitigated by all the people we encountered who were also on this pro-life mission. At home, it can often seem that most people are apathetic about the abortion topic its not something with which they care to be involved. Walking the streets of D.C. we saw many groups of pro-lifers (identifiable by their signs, buttons). These were people willing to expend some effort to show that the issue of abortion was important to them. And so many of the participants were youth. We even saw some young men carrying a "Harvard for Life" sign imagine that!
The speeches at the Monument included a phoned-in address from President Bush as well as remarks from many others. There were many thousands of people there. Our small group decided to walk up Constitution Avenue ahead of the main body of the March. All along the way we saw people. We also saw many policemen. What we did not see were any people that we could identify as pro-abortion. All in all, the atmosphere was very congenial. There was no sense of antagonism or danger.
This experience, though physically taxing, was spiritually invigorating. There were so many other people present who wanted to make a pro-life statement. So many were youth! And yet there were folks of all ages. All were united in their desire to help the smallest and most vulnerable babies in the womb!
- Wilda Liana
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