Great disappointment pervaded the Ave Maria University campus when we learned that the 2021 March for Life was cancelled due to COVID. Since then, and as the date of this year’s March approached, more and more registrations were coming in. The interest far exceeded our expectations. We were aiming for about one hundred and fifty, but in the end we ended up with a group of more than two hundred.
As vice president of the “Ave for Life” student group and with my fellow board members, we wanted to show the nation and especially the Supreme Court justices that young Americans want to end the scourge of abortion. We are aware that a third of our generation has fallen victim to the curettes of abortionists.
Last Wednesday, aboard four buses, we began the long journey to our nation’s capital. Twenty-one hours later, tired but in high spirits, we arrived just in time to celebrate the Vigil for Life in the Basilica of the National Shrine. Prayer is an essential part of pro-life work.
We were joyfully welcomed and hosted by the parish and school of St. Mary. John The Beloved in Arlington, Virginia. The men slept on the gym floor and the women in the cafeteria. And although the floors were hard and the bathrooms limited, no one cared. We all knew it was a pilgrimage, not a vacation trip, and pilgrims do not expect first-class accommodation. The community of St. Louis, Mo. St. John’s sacrificed for us to allow us to march through life and we, in turn, accepted these small sacrifices and offered them for the unborn.
Friday, January 21, was the day of the March. It dawned cold and clear. And when I say “cold”, I mean it was -12 degrees C. However, that in no way dampened our spirits. We all had our warmest clothes on. Most of us put on everything we brought. Despite the freezing conditions, we were not allowed to enter most restaurants and hotels to warm up due to vaccination mandates. Nevertheless, and even as our toes began to go numb, we were all smiling as we made our way to the rally.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that I was surprised by the level of participation. There must have been more than 100,000 protestors in attendance. It was the largest and friendliest crowd I have ever been a part of in my entire life. It was moving to think that we were all there for one purpose: to give a voice to the voiceless.
We were united in our commitment to end the slaughter of innocents that has taken place since 1973. Nearly 64 million abortions!!! The ranks of young Americans have dwindled, opening up a huge hole in the life of our country. We, the survivors, have much to say against this ongoing tragedy that has impoverished us in various ways.
Standing in front of the Supreme Court at the end of the March, we all prayed that this would be the last National March for Life in our nation’s capital. But we are well aware that, although Roe v. Wade may finally be overturned in a few months, the battle will continue at the state level.
As long as a child’s life is sacrificed for abortion, my fellow students and I will continue to stand up for those who cannot fend for themselves.