Dayton Flyers will march from home this year, photo courtesy of the University of Dayton.
Together Strong, Life Unites! This is the theme for the 2021 March for Life, which is scheduled to take place Friday, Jan. 29.
The March for Life is a peaceful rally consisting of people of all ages and backgrounds spanning across the United States. Each year, thousands of pro-life advocates congregate to the National Mall and march on Capitol Hill to participate in the largest annual human rights organized event in the world. With something that brings folks from all walks of life and exemplifies unity, how will COVID-19 effect this demonstration?
In a normal year, UD’s pro-life organiztion, Flyers for Life, gathers a large number of students to attend the march in Washington D.C. With the looming effects of the pandemic and the University’s COVID-19 protocols, current president of Flyers for Life, Caleb Stalder states, “It’s not exactly the best time to go. I think everyone’s kind of on the same page with keeping each other safe.”
Stalder shares that even though the members of his club cannot show their support by going to D.C. they can still be in solidarity with everyone there and do what they can to inspire that same vision and energy.
Grant Hirzel, Rosary and Service Chair for the Flyers for Life, adds onto the idea of supporting the March for Life from afar.
“If we say we are pro-life and we care about lives, I think it’s common sense not to gather in group settings and have the risk of spreading COVID to others,” Hirzel said.
Flyers for Life, with the help of Campus Ministries, intends to promote the event through a virtual platform.
Nick Cardilino, an active member of Campus Ministries, writes, “Our Flyers for Life group is in the planning stages for a prayer service and rosary, probably to be held in the Immaculate Conception Chapel and live streamed.”
There are also plans to provide limited seating to this rosary ceremony as an in-person event. Stadler said that the event will allow a limit of 60 people to attend, and will be open not only to students but also the surrounding Dayton community. Check-in for the event will happen through 1850 QR codes.
Attending this event will require those to partake in COVID-19 protocol, such as wearing a mask and distancing themselves from others in the area.
The March for Life continues to be an ever-present human rights event that connects to UD’s community due to the Catholic and Marianist values of preserving life. Those marching on behalf of Dayton’s ever growing community seek to protect the lives of those who are unable to vouch for themself and to uphold one’s right to live out their life.
“The Catholic Church and, of course, the Marianist family (not to mention many other religious traditions) believe that those who have not yet been born are human persons and deserve the right to live in the same way you and I do,” comments Cardilino.
While members of Flyers for Life and Campus Ministries cannot physically be protesting, their devotion to a pro-life ideology is unyielding in the midst of a global pandemic.
For more information, visit: https://marchforlife.org/education/.