By Isabella Daley
On Friday, Jan. 19, nineteen McNicholas students marched in the 45th March for Life in Washington D.C. to show support for the pro-life movement and advocate for an end to abortion.
They boarded a charter bus for D.C. along with several students from Guardian Angels and Purcell Marian. They were among thousands of other pro-life advocates as they prayed at the Mass for Life, marched toward the Supreme Court, and listened to President Donald Trump speak as he became the first U.S. president to address the crowds at the rally on the National Mall.
“I thought it was neat that a U.S. president finally took the time to address this ongoing wrongdoing instead of ignoring it and acting as if it is okay to degrade the precious gift of life,” senior Janie Ferris said.
The students attending the March for Life said they found inspiration in both the President’s presence and the fact that they were among thousands of other supporters of the pro-life cause.
They embarked on their journey to D.C. on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 18, after attending a prayer service at Good Shepherd Parish. They arrived at the Capital One Arena in D.C. in time for the Mass at 8:30 a.m. the next morning, and concluded their experience with a short retreat Friday night. “I think the retreat brought everything together. It was nice to take time to reflect on the March, to express our experience and relate it to others,” Ferris said.
Many of the March participants found particular moments of excitement or inspiration throughout the March that they said impacted them in significant ways. Some credited the size of the crowd and the energy around them as the largest source of excitement while others were inspired by the speeches on the National Mall. Not all of the students attending the March felt inspired by the President’s presence, but many were still pleased that he showed support for the pro-life cause.
Junior Vinny Ramundo said that, “while I appreciate [Trump] giving the March a little extra publicity that is long overdue, Trump does not speak for me as a pro-life American.” He said that listening to Trump “was not a memorable moment for me,” but Ramundo was still satisfied with his experience on the March for Life as a whole.
Senior Alena Barton and freshman Andy Farmer said they found feelings of satisfaction in the words of the pro-life advocates who spoke during the rally. “The speeches really influenced me because it really touched me [to hear] different stories and how they have overcome the evils of abortions,” Barton said. Farmer said that it was “the speakers and the homilies, especially the speech given by the Congresswoman with the kids who kept interrupting her,” that left the biggest impact on him.
Others said they felt impacted by the presence of the many people supporting the same cause with them while on the March. “My favorite part was being able to see the many thousands of people who come together to stand up for the cause,” freshman Anna Rahner said. Freshman Madeline Daley said she felt the most inspiration when she reached the top of the hill on the walk toward the Supreme Court. She said that turning around and seeing “just how big of a group I was a part of” impacted her significantly.
The students were inspired by the people around them who were willing to stand up for life. Senior Jordan McCormick used her words to inspire other students before the March started when she gave a witness about the importance of the March for Life.
“I march because I want people to see the good in themselves and to know that their life is worthwhile, that it is meaningful. I march because I want every life to be recognized as valuable and important,” McCormick said in her witness. “The March for Life is an opportunity to shed light on an all too dark world and [to] inspire change…. It is our duty to bring awareness of how precious life is.”
McCormick attended the March for Life last year as one of 8 students from McNicholas. “I’m thankful to have the opportunity to participate in the March for Life once again,” she said. McCormick joined her classmates again this year as the number of participants more than doubled, and it is likely that participation in the March for Life will continue to grow as those who return share their stories with others.
“Although it may seem that we are small, with our collective power, we can make a change,” junior Danielle Robben said.