By: Steve Miller – Asst. Sports Editor
In the shadow of the United States Capitol building, under a clear winter sky, passing businesses, restaurants, and workplaces, fervent American advocates flooded the streets of Washington, D.C., to peacefully give witness to the truth.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1973 that a woman’s right to have an abortion trumps her child’s right to life. And every year since, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, pro-life Americans have flocked to the capital to march against that declaration.
Nothing about the March for Life is glamorous. Mid-winter weather in Washington, D.C., is rarely pleasant. The date generally falls in the middle of the week. The march itself is only a few blocks long, and the civic leaders whom the protesters wish to convert hardly ever acknowledge the event. Yet people come.
This year, an estimated 500,000 walked from the National Mall up to the Supreme Court building, chanting and singing all the way in a joyful cadence that could easily be mistaken for celebration. Signs of “We Are the Pro-Life Generation” and “I Survived Roe v. Wade” decorated the crowds. If we do ever see a day when Roe v. Wade is overturned, a march of triumph would not take a dramatically different form.
An entire busload of University of Dayton students took time out of their lives to travel this year, as they have done in years past. Departing campus the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 21, they spent the night driving, attended Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine on Thursday morning, marched Thursday afternoon and rode home to attend classes Friday. And I’m sure they would all do it again next year.
I have attended the march three times, and what I find the most inspiring every time is the sheer number of students and young people from cities across the nation. The youth are the future of this country, and if we, as energetic students, are as excited and passionate about the pro-life movement when we become the leaders of the world as we are today, I am hopeful for this virtuous cause.
Sophomore Kaleigh Jurcisek shared her thoughts on the March for Life, referencing the women who spoke at the march about their abortion experiences. “It was sad, but also inspiring to hear these women stand up and speak out about the corruption of the abortion industry,” she said, “the heartbreaking pain they have experienced since their regretful decisions shows us why being a witness is so important.”
The pro-life movement itself is profound and misunderstood. Standing up for the rights of unborn children is only the beginning. Supporting families, providing charity to the less fortunate and raising children are all pro-life actions.
Nate Lundy, a senior, was reminded of this at the march. “My favorite moment was meeting a smiling baby girl named Nora who was being carried in the arms of her parents,” he said.
Life is a beautiful gift from God and a natural, fundamental right that this great nation acknowledged when it declared independence in 1776. Life in every moment is precious, and life is glorious when it is upheld and exalted.
It’s both appropriate and ironic that the March for Life is held on Constitution Avenue in Washington. While it is a logistic necessity that the street leads from the National Mall toward the Supreme Court, it is also dripping with symbolism. The Constitution lays out the basic rights of Americans, and the pro-lifers march to win back a right they know has been violated. The march itself leads past Smithsonian Institution museums like the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of Natural History, which celebrate human and American culture—centered on the lives of the most influential of all people.
Who will the next generation celebrate? There’s no way to know if we do not first uphold life itself.