2010 March for Life

When my brother Andy took an internship in Washington DC, I knew that I had to attend the March for Life. I had no excuse now.

Leading up to the event, I had looked online and really didn't see much of a schedule other than it started at noon. Thanks to Fr. Frank Pavone and Priest's for Life who sent me an email which mentioned a Vigil Mass for Life at the National Basilica on Thursday night at 6:30. So my plan was to go to mass on Thursday and the march on Friday.

So I left upstate NY at 6:30am and for into Washington around 1:00pm on Thursday. Andy took me to Ben's Chili Bowl for lunch (a favorite of Bill Cosby apparently) and we had a great meal. Then we went back to his apartment and I got a little rest and Andy was gracious enough to decide to join me at mass.

I wasn't sure how packed it would be because I knew a lot of buses left early Friday morning for the march. We got the the Basilica at ~5:45 and it was kind of quiet outside and we saw that the bookstore was open, so we went in for a bit. Then we proceeded up into the church and it was PACKED!!! I've put a circle on the pic below. We were standing in the hall behind that pillar. We did have a view of the altar so that was good, but we had to stand the whole time. I had guessed that the mass would be about 2 hours long. Well after a 30 minute procession, I knew it would be a little longer than that.

The mass was wonderful (see previous blog post about how I felt). Great sermon by Cardinal Dinardo, and a wonderful atmosphere.

What I did not realize ahead of time is that there was a Vigil (I thought Vigil meant simply a mass on the night before...) all night long at the Basilica. Next year I will plan on spending a few hours in prayer after the mass.

On Friday I slept in a little and put on my under armour and layers and headed out around 10:30 toward the mall. I passed a church, not one block away from my brother's and was going to see if it were a Catholic church and stop in for a quick prayer. Well turns out it was! And they had just begun mass! There was either one or two big groups there, so I stood in the back and enjoyed mass. Because of the mass I was 30 minutes late in meeting up with a friend who lives close by and was going to attend the march with me. But we made it to the mall around 11:45 and got a good spot to the right of the media tent.

As for the content, it is pretty much expected. I was disappointed that there was so much cheering for Massachusetts, but not one person mentioned that Scott Brown is in fact pro-choice. Granted he was the lesser of two evils and his election did stop the pro-abortion healthcare bill from passing, but I don't think we need to cheer him as much as we did. In Mass he was elected more for his being anti-government and anti-Obama not for his being pro-life. God does work in mysterious ways.
It was nice to see so many people from around the country. I was next to a bunch of people from Kansas and Ohio. It was also nice to see a nice big sign from the Diocese of Buffalo.

After the rally my friend left and I marched along side a religious who was saying a rosary which was nice. There were pro-lifer's along the side of Constitution ave and a huge display from the Genocide Awareness Project with abortion pictures. I think these should be displayed, it's hard to deny that even though the baby is as small as a coin, he is still recognizable as a human being. Seeing these made me very sad that there is really little that I have done for this cause.

Up by the Capitol I met Andy who had gotten out of work and we made our way in front of the Supreme Court. He had gone there earlier and saw some pro-choice folks but by the time we got there there were too many pro-lifers. I saw 4 "Keep Abortion Legal" signs, but could not hear what they were saying if anything. By my estimation the pro-life group outnumbered them 350,000 - 12.

We then walked back toward the mall (as we had tickets to go up the Washington Monument) and there were still people making their was up Constitution Ave.

Now for my thoughts about the experience. I was very encouraged by the number of young people that were there, especially high schoolers. The pro-life movement will be strong in the years to come. I was also moved by the unity. It was clearly a mostly Catholic crowd. There was no doubt about that. Yet there were Anglicans for Life and Jews for Life that were also present (in the crowd and on stage at the rally).

What I took home from this was something unexpected. As I moved through the crown (not being tied to any group) I realized that the whole pro-life movement is about protecting and recognizing the rights and dignity of every human being. From conception to natural death. Yet for me personally, I get so annoyed with people. Stupid drivers on the road, people who throw trash on the ground, and worse yet I can be so judgmental when it comes to someone like a child abuser. Yet what we are called to is to respect EVERYONE's dignity. This event will make me look at everyone differently. I'm convinced a child in the womb needed my love, but I didn't realize that there were others that I wasn't loving.

Overall it was a fast trip for me. I'm tired, but I wanted to write this before I forgot. I hope some of my family and friends will be willing to join me next year. I'll also plan on spending more time after mass at the Basilica for the Vigil for Life.

Small bit of annoyance which I'll mention just to vent. I decided against bringing a camera 1) because I didn't want to lug around an SLR and 2) because I had my phone on me. Well my not-so-trusty old iPhone (2G) kept restarting on me and I couldn't do much. I snuck in a Facebook post and a tweet, and got 2 pictures, but that's it. I had to call my brother from my friend's phone to tell him where I'd meet him. I really hate Apple for making a product that lasted ~2.5 years, forcing me to upgrade.

Posted bypiscotikus at 10:26 PM  


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