It is an old cliche that you can’t really appreciate something just by having it described to you — that you have to experience it yourself. I’m not sure I believe in that, but when it comes to the March for Life, I think there’s something to it.
I think that many people expect that the March is a political event, a “protest march”, and that it is an expression of outrage and anger over the legalized destruction of unborn human beings.
Actually, the March is a prayerful pilgrimage that celebrates life. The outrage is there, but joy is the dominant emotion.
Yesterday, I went to the March for the eighteenth consecutive year. It was the first time that I can recall it raining on us — and it really rained on us. Together with the chilly temperatures, the precipitation would have put the damper on just about any outdoors event, and kept the crowd down to a minimum.
Not the March for Life. It was as huge, exuberant crowd — hundreds of thousands, from all over America and abroad. We talked to people from all over the East coast, and from places as far away as Michigan, Kansas, Illinois, Florida, and Missouri. There were groups from Canada, and from every religious traditions — mostly Catholics, but Evangelical Christians, Lutherans, Anglicans, Orthodox Christians, and Jews.
The dominant spirit of the event came from the teens and young adults. They were everywhere, tirelessly praying, chanting, singing. We old-timers were a bit worn out by the time we got up to the Supreme Court, but the kids were still bursting with their love for the gift of life. It was enough to uplift even a cynic like me.
Again, it’s hard to get a feel for the event unless you see it for yourself. You can check out some great pictures here and here, and there are some great videos up on YouTube (including this one, which leads off with some very lively kids from Chicago who were giving great witness to life on the steps of a Senate office building, and goes on to give a good sense of the March).
Even better, mark your calendar for January 23, 2013 (the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade) — and join us for the largest, longest-lasting, and most uplifting event of public witness in our nation’s history.
Truly a blessed event.
Tags: March for Life