Anticipating an end to an annual march
In January I was blessed enough to go on the 41st annual March for Life pilgrimage with students from Bishop Ryan High School as well as two other Catholic high schools in North Dakota. While preparing to go on this trip I was unsure what to expect. We were given two days to explore Washington, D.C., one day to attend various rallies, and on Jan. 22, the 41st anniversary of the legalization of abortion, to participate in the march itself. My sister had participated in the march last year and I must admit that I didn’t quite believe her when she spoke about the sheer size of the event itself.
Most of the secular news sources downplay the size of the march, but having been there I can attest to how large it actually was. The march began on the Mall area of D.C. and moved down Constitution Avenue to the steps of the Supreme Court Building. There were people absolutely filling the entire area, not just hundreds or thousands but hundreds of thousands. I had commented to a man from Wisconsin marching beside me how it was amazing that we were so packed together that you couldn’t see any of the ground level large signs. Literally at some points you couldn’t even move due to the crush of people. I mean, we shut down downtown D.C. With the exception of Martin Luther King’s march and wasn’t this just an extension of that? what other demonstration could claim that? And we do it every year.
It’s not just the size of the march that’s amazing. There were people from all levels of society the rich, the working class, people of all faiths, atheists, religious orders, congressmen and women, babies, the elderly everyone you could possibly imagine. Heck, even a group from Canada came down to support the Americans as they marched.
Groups who oppose each other on most other fields from political to day-to-day life put aside their differences to protest something they view as wrong. People who so drastically oppose each other united to protest one of the most controversial issues of our time. If that’s not amazing, what is?
As my group finished the march, I ended up getting separated from my companions due to the sheer number of people still marching. We had been near the end of the line when we began, but when I turned around there were still thousands of people coming up behind me. Things like this give me hope that one day soon we won’t need to march anymore. I pray that one day in the not too far off future this won’t be an issue anymore. We are the pro-life generation and it shows.
Erin MacLeod is a senior at Bishop Ryan High School in Minot.