The Corner

What I Saw at the March for Life 2015

The March for Life came and went as it does every year and many in the media didn’t or barely noticed. But the civic — and religious for many, with Masses (at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Verizon Center, the D.C. Armory, among many other places) and prayer vigils and services a-plenty – pilgrimage for high school and college students who make the trek to Washington, D.C., can be formational. Among the most beautiful moments of an intense less than 24 hours happened at the Verizon Center. 18,000 people filled the sports center, with D.C.’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl encouraging young people discerning religious vocations to stand up. The applause were not only a matter of encouragement for them, but a countercultural force to be reckoned with.

The young people who were in Washington Thursday insist on something better than the culture of death the Supreme Court served 42 years ago and all too many went along with. They want life and love and freedom. Encourage them. Pray for them. Give thanks for them. As their signs insist, they are a pro-life generation. Would that the news penetrate Congress!

That’s a bit of what my syndicated column is about this week. It’s here

I was invited up Thursday to the rally stage just before the March began, joining other “pro-life leaders.”  The crowd was overrun with enthusiastic young people. This was the view:

Some 700 North Dakotan high-school and college students led the March (I think that’s remarkable): 

Everywhere I turned last week, while people gave testimony to the pain of abortion, and the sacrifices that come with doing the right thing, there was a radiant joy. Faith, hope, and love. A generosity. An openness. A desire to help. Some scenes:

And a few messages:

My experience of the 42nd anniversary of Roe began with spending time with Dan LaHood from St. Joseph’s House and Isaiah’s Promise (my Q&A with him here) and Mark Bradford, president of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, among others. At an event the National Review Institute co-sponsored with the Heritage Foundation (“Welcoming Every Life: Choosing Life after an Unexpected Prenatal Diagnosis,” which you can watch here), they helped us  — along with a keynote from Carly Fiorina – unpack the theme of the March this year, “Every Life a Gift.” There are some extraordinary people saving lives, immersing mothers and fathers and children in love, building families and a culture of life and a civilization of love. I met more of these beacons of life on the frontlines — including Kathleen Wilson from Mary’s Shelter in Fredericksburg, Va., and Carrissa Carroll who founded Jack’s Basket, celebrating every child born with Down Syndrome — while emceeing a pre-march event on Wednesday.

While politics can sometimes make very little sense, supporting real leadership on the front-lines will make all the difference.

The foundation behind the March for Life, by the way, is among organizations that have had to sue the government over the Department of Health and Human Services Obamacare abortion-drug, contraception, female sterilization mandate.

For the sake of life and conscience, march on, every day of the year, wherever you are.

For more images from the March, many of them from my Ipad, see this NRO slideshow.

(Q&As with Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life here. One with Kristan Hawkins from Students for Life here.)

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