March for Life draws thousands
On January 22nd, 1974 the first March for Life was held after Congress announced its support for pro-life legislation. At the time, it was not known as the March for Life, but rather the “Circle of Life” march, and was thought to be a one time event. However, when it became clear that true Congressional support for the pro-life cause was not as close as originally thought, the March became an annual event which would end when Roe v. Wade was overturned. Supporters would march in Washington D.C., starting from the front of the Capitol Building, and ending in front of the United States Supreme Court Building. By 1987, the March saw around 100,000 people walking through deep snow. By 2003 to 2009, March attendance spiked to 250,000. During this year’s 2015 March for Life, over 500,000 people attended the March, including the marchers from the Archdiocese of Miami.
The marchers from the Archdiocese of Miami began their trip at 4:45 AM, Tuesday the 20th. The group of 120 marchers from varying schools, like Christopher Columbus High School and Chaminade High School, split into two groups of 60 to take connecting flights to Washington DC. Once they arrived in DC, the marchers gathered their bags, and went to the Hyatt Hotel. After storying their bags, they went to eat brunch at Union Station, before proceeding to the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust Museum visit was followed by a prayer vigil in front of the White House, before returning to the Hyatt for the retreat section of the trip. A mass, icebreakers, and a small retreat session was held in a side room. After the mass, icebreaker, and retreat sessions were over, the marchers ate dinner at Union Station, before a prayer vigil in front of the Supreme Court Building. The next day marchers woke early to eat breakfast at Union Station, before proceeding to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for mass. Mass was followed by lunch, again at Union Station, then a retreat and icebreaker session till dinner. During the retreat, the theme of the March was highlighted: A person is a person no matter how small. As Rev. Dr. Dugard described it: “while Dr. Sues never intended the phrase to be used in the pro-life argument, it fits perfectly.”
Then the day of the March arrived. That morning marchers ate breakfast, as usual, at Union Station. Then, they proceeded to the Holy Rosary Church for a mass to prepare for the March. The Archdiocese of Miami students joined the 500,000 people from all over the nation. People waved signs, flags, and banners while bands played and marchers shouted chants like “Barack, Obama, yo mama chose life!”. At the Supreme Court building, pro-choice protesters crowded the middle of the road, blocking the pro-life marchers path. After a brief face off, police escorted pro-choice protesters off the middle of the street, or arrested those that were non-compliant. When the March ended, Archdiocese of Miami students were rewarded lunch/dinner at a restaurant of the moderator’s choice, then a nighttime tour of famous monuments like the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the Martin Luther King memorial. On the final day of the trip, before returning to Miami, the students went to museums, shops, and malls of their moderator’s choice before returning to take connecting flights to Miami. The March for Life is a tradition that will continue strong in both the national community, and the miami community.