On January 24th, people from all walks of life gathered in Washington D.C. for the 47th annual March for Life. This was my first time attending the event, and I found myself inspired by the enthusiasm, prayer, and peacefulness which seemed to surround both the marchers and the march itself.
Many have called this year’s March for Life historic, because for the first time in history the sitting president of the United States personally attended the event. The excitement produced by president Trump’s presence was apparent in the faces of the marchers, and it seemed to reinforce the significance of our own public witness.
Throughout the day, I was struck by the overwhelming number of high school students, homeschoolers, college students, and young adults who seemed to make up the majority of the crowd. Being a young person myself, I felt right at home.
As I observed the many young faces flow past me towards Constitution Avenue, it dawned on me that this generation, my generation, is the energy behind the pro-life movement. I then recalled the words spoken earlier by the president: “Young people are the heart of the March for Life. And it’s your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.”
Prior to reaching Capitol Hill, I was unable to get an appreciation for how large the march really was, but when I finally reached the summit, I looked back in amazement. The crowds, stretched farther than I could see in both directions, were packed so close together it appeared as one continuous mass of people.
The sheer magnitude of those assembled from across the country, people the president said numbered “in the tens of thousands” but perhaps more accurately numbering in the hundreds of thousands, is in my mind proof that abortion is the key moral issue of our time. To me, this appeared to be a profound testimony to the immeasurable value of the human person from the moment of conception until natural death.
It seemed the president eloquently captured the purpose of the pro-life movement when he said, “We are here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential.”
While the march marks a somber remembrance of the legalization of abortion, those present seemed nonetheless visibly joyful. Standing in the cold and walking together in such tight groups would in most cases kindle feelings of impatience or frustration. Yet when the mass of people pushed me forward unexpectedly, the person I bumped often turned to apologize before I could even say a word.
There was no sign of malice or animosity. Instead, an atmosphere of sincerity and goodwill filled the crowds, and whenever I looked at those around me, I was received with a smile.
I observed no lawlessness that day. There were no angry protests. Instead, we marched peacefully to the Supreme Court with what might be called patient anticipation. We shared a spirit of youthful hope.
A version of this article was published in the Catholic Virginian on February 10th. The original document has been reposted by Deus Vult with the written consent of the author.