"See you at the March for Life"
This Monday, over a hundred thousand people will participate in the annual March for Life downtown. It really is a great day for all who attend, whether it's with the 20,000+ teens at the Verizon Center for Mass and a rally, or with the huge crowd at the March itself. It began the year after abortion was legalized in this country (Jan. 22, 1973), and continues on or about the tragic anniversary each year. Here is a column written by my good friend, Msgr. Thomas Wells, about the March titled, "The March for Life - Why I Go" (1995):
"From a political or purely human point of view, the past year was both very good and very bad for the pro-life movement in the United States. Even though it has not been too widely reported, the recent elections brought dozens of new pro-life senators and members of Congress to Washington and, most wonderfully, not one pro-life national legislator or governor lost in the entire country. The bad news, of course, involved the murders by two fanatics at abortion clinics in Florida and Boston. While both killers seem to be somehwat unbalanced, their crimes remind us of the danger of violence begetting violence and that we cannot assume that hating the sin but not the sinner is always easy to do.
Monday's Right to Life March, then, will be held in an atmosphere that is hopeful and sober. Hopefuly because, against all that media wisdom had told us, the Amercian people seem to be saying something important about the value of human life; but there is a sadness as we reflect that some who may have marched with us in earlier years have resorted to evil comparable to that which we protest.
Such reflections aside, the March for Life is one of my favorite events of the year. Of course, I know how important it is that the pro-life community demonstrate against what is the great evil in our society. I truly believe that any complaint by this country against supposed abortion rights abuses in other nations smacks of hypocritical cynicism as long as we as a nation allow - even encourage - the killing of the unborn. To be honest, though, I have to confess that these reasons of high principle are probably not the main reasons I go year after year to the March.
Do you remember reading about the joyful and enthusiastic crowd that greeted the Pope in Denver? That is the same type of people that come each year, from all over this country and Canada, to the March. It is wonderful to get off our convenient subway and to run into high school students from Scranton, young families from the South and members of parishes who have been on buses for twenty-four straight hours from God-knows-where in the Mid-West and who get back on these buses immediately after the March to return home. Frankly, it is also a wonderful time to see people from this area whom I have known over the years from previous parishes; people who are, really, the heart of the Catholic communities from which they come.
Yes, I go to the Right to Life March to protest abortion; of course, I do. However, I go primarily for myself. I need the encouragement and hope, the joy and the laughs that come from spending and afternoon with people of faith who love life at every stage and who, quite simply, want the unborn to have the same chance to love and live as they have had. See you at the March for Life".