Saturday, January 24, 2015

Our March for Life 2015 Experience in 7 Quick Takes

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Two days ago on January 22, 2015, the 42nd March for Life took place.  This peaceful demonstration has happened every year on this date since 1973, when abortion was legalized in the United States.  On this somber anniversary, men and women of all ages (the majority are young) and from all walks of life march to stand as a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, abortion.

Marchers travel many miles to "be a voice for the voiceless" as the sign below reads.  Those that aren't able to be physically present in Washington, DC each year, support the unborn, mothers, and fathers and the marchers with prayers and sacrifice on this anniversary date and everyday throughout the year.     

I first went to March for Life in 2011 with our then, family of 6, and then back again in 2012.  I was blessed to attend this year's march with my 14 and 10 year old daughters while my wonderful husband stayed home with our 3 other children.

It's difficult to put into a blog post all that is experienced, seen, and heard at the march, but I will try to attempt to capture our 2015 March for Life in another edition of 7 Quick Takes hosted by Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum.

At 4:00 AM on Thursday morning about 35 men, women, and children from our church and local community boarded the bus that would take us to DC.  Before the ride started our priest at our church said a prayer for safe travels and reminded us who we are marching for. (Thank you Fr. Michael for getting up sooo early to give us a blessing!)  While traveling on the bus, we were lead by different volunteers to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary of Saint John Paul II. I used my beautiful pink corded rosary from RealLifeRosary.  A big shout out to Paul for organizing the bus ride and leading our pack throughout the day!  Thank you Paul! 

When we arrived in DC about 11:00 AM, we went straight to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where all the people from the Charlotte and Raleigh Diocese attended Mass.  Bishop Burbidge (Raleigh Diocese) and Bishop Jugus (Charlotte Diocese) celebrated the Mass. There were also many priests on the altar from around the diocese.  My daughters and I spotted our priest friend, Fr. Ned, before mass started.  He was the celebrant for our wedding on July 12, 1997 ,and it's always a blessing to see him. 

After Mass our bus headed to the march at the National Mall.  We met up with other churches/schools in the Raleigh Diocese and Bishop Burbidge walked with us, as well.  I snapped a quick picture with  our Bishop with my 2 daughters and a friend.  
The amount of people walking peacefully through the streets is always amazing, full of life and energy! It's estimated about 500,000 people attended the march.

It's a good thing we march for life and not for the (lack of) mainstream media coverage!    EWTN does cover the march live stream and we have watched it from our computers the years we haven't been able to attend. 

Each year that I attend the march, the one comment that I hear over and over again and the one thing I notice all the time is that there are so many young people, college age and younger, that are passionate about the fight to save the unborn and save babies, mothers and fathers from pain and suffering. Their energy is contagious and gives so many so much hope!  

There are so many teens and young adults shuffling shoulder to shoulder in the crowds or chanting back and forth "We love babies yes we do, we love babies, how 'bout you!"  

One teen, Adam, who rode on our bus, took this amazing photo during the march.  Yes, the sky was so clear and beautiful and the weather was perfect, not too cold and no snow or freezing rain! Praise God!  Adam is passionate about saving babies and photography, as he has his own photography business called Kapture 7. For  being only 15 years old, I'd say he has great talent and is well on his way to a successful career.  He captured his first March for Life experience through his lens and collected a lifetime of memories with his camera, brother-in-law, and fellow pro-life marchers. 

Here are some videos I took with my phone of the crowd of mostly young people marching, singing and rallying for life: 

While marching, it's also wonderful to see all the signs that people hold up and wave in support for life.  Here are a few that I photographed:  

Our church group held this sign through the crowds...
The sign above in the top left corner reads, "Peace begins in the womb."
The top right corner reads, "Abortion is mean"
The bottom left corner says, "Abortion Don't Buy the Lie"
The bottom right corner says, "We Protect: Rain Forests (check), Animals (check), Whales (check), Unborn Babies (?)"

This was the first year I saw some people marching with yellow umbrellas.  I was told by my friend, Teri, that the yellow means "joy" and the umbrella symbolizes how a mother is to protect and shelter her unborn baby.  I thought this was a beautiful and creative type of "sign" to carry through the crowds.

As we were leaving the march to get onto our bus to take the 6 hour ride back home and grab a bite to eat at a Cracker Barrel, I took a picture of the Capitol under renovation.  I know of about 500,000 people who were present at the march who want to see laws change that happen inside the building to support the unborn.  This photo of the Capitol as half a million people marched around it brings to mind this quote by Saint John Paul II:
I'll end this March for Life post with a status that Abby Johnson: ProWoman, ProChild, ProLife wrote on her Facebook page that I think sums up what the annual March for Life is really about:   
"The March for Life has been great, but I'm ready to get back to fighting in the trenches. I don't come to the March for Life to celebrate. I can't celebrate 57 million deaths. I don't come here to "be seen" as some sort of celebrity...because I can assure you that is never how I want to be seen. I come here to memorialize and honor the children who have been lost, the women who have been forever changed, and the fathers who never had a voice. I come here to show people that God is still our victory, even when we feel defeated. I come because people need to see that no one is beyond conversion.
Now, let's get back to work!
P.S. I'm so honored to stand by all of you as we fight together."

I started a Pinterest Pro-Life board called "L.I.F.E. = Life Is For Everyone" awhile ago, where I have been collecting pro-life posts.  If you are interested in checking out the board or following it go HERE.

Keep marching on! We shall overcome someday!

Have a blessed weekend!



Laurie said...

Beautiful!! I understand Abby's status, but I do celebrate all those young people who somehow "get it". They understand that life is precious and are willing to stand up and be seen- not hide or be afraid that they won't be liked for their beliefs. I think it is a true miracle!! Praise God!

Chris said...

Great, news-y post, Tra!! I really enjoyed it! Fantastic summary of the day.

As an aside, it's 6 hours from us to DC as well!! The capital is really a 1/2 way point!

I have to tell you, I'm not sure if it's my computer, but I could not "see" the photos in your post at all...Most of the buttons on the sidebar, I can't see either. I hope it's me, not you. But I did want to alert you in case there's something not loading the right way that you should be aware of.

Most importantly, THANK YOU and your daughters and your whole parish for standing for life on behalf of all of us pro life people around the world.
You really do make a difference.

And btw isn't Cracker Barrel awesome? I just love their food and the atmosphere! We have none here on LI but we enjoy stopping at CB on the way home from out camping trips the day before we get home every year!

Have a great night!

Yes Laurie, I see what you mean exactly! It's "bittersweet" to be at the March. We are somber because of the million of lives lost and all the mothers and fathers who suffer, but at the same time the energy of the youth and their smiles to love and support life is peaceful, joyful, and hopeful! Yes, a miracle and such an encouragement! Thanks for stopping in to read my post and comment! :) God bless!

Thanks Chris for stopping in and commenting! Hmmm...I don't know why you couldn't see my photos on your end...that's strange. Maybe if you try to revisit, you will be able to see the entire post? That's neat that you are 6 hours away from DC too. Not too bad of a trip, especially when I didn't have to drive it! :) Thanks always for your support and encouragement for life and the March!

Chris said...

Yes!! I finally had a chance to come back...I can see the pictures, fantastic. I had a chance to view the videos now too..... You certainly captures the event in photo and commentary.
Thanks again for sharing....

"See" you online soon. :)

Yay Chris! I'm glad you were able to see entire post this time! Thanks for revisiting! You are the best!
Have a blessed weekend!

Yay Chris! I'm glad you were able to see entire post this time! Thanks for revisiting! You are the best!
Have a blessed weekend!

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