A cold penetrating rain poured down on the night before the March for Life. No doubt many anti-abortion Americans looked at the bleak weather forecast and wondered what the next day’s march would bring. Some might have even hesitated. It is in dreary times not sunshine when the true caliber and dedication of activists can be measured.
March organizers were not disappointed.
Under a threatening drizzle, well over 100,000 Americans braved the dire predictions and thronged to the streets of the nation’s capital. A large contingent of members from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) joined legions of veteran marchers and droves of young people who marched on the Capitol and Supreme Court to make their voices heard.
The January 23 march beginning at the Mall was the thirty-third such event. Even the liberal media could not ignore the youthfulness of the crowd. Indeed, the conspicuous presence of so many youth must have cast a sense of foreboding on pro-abortion radicals as they observed a new and vibrant generation of Americans who believe the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is far from “settled law.”
The opening rally began with speeches from every sector of the vast pro-life movement. Catholic participation was particularly noteworthy with one cardinal, and 18 bishops on the stage and four bishops in the audience together with their flocks. Nearly 20 congressmen also spoke out. Halfway through the rally, President George W. Bush addressed the crowd via telephone. From Manhattan, Kan., the President outlined all the measures his administration had taken against abortion although he acknowledged that there was much “more work to be done.”
Nelly Gray, the founder and president of March for Life, spoke on overturning Roe v. Wade which she said has “brutalized our country.” She further called for action since a pro-life agenda “trumps politics.”
Over 100 TFP members, friends and supporters joined the march, with their hallmark standards, capes and banners. A large statue of Our Lady of Fatima was carried by an escort of TFP members in ceremonial garb. The Holy Choirs of Angels Marching Band with six bagpipers enlivened the event with patriotic music.
The TFP statement titled “Fighting Abortion in a Culture War,” was distributed among the crowd. It drew a link between the anti-culture of abortion and the growing persecution of Christianity.
“The culture of death instills hatred of everything sacred: Christian symbols, the Ten Commandments, and the Church, which preaches observance of natural and divine laws,” the TFP flyer stated.
A recent example of such anti-Christian hatred of religion is the novel, The Da Vinci Code which is soon to be released as a film. The TFP statement sees such productions as part of the whole picture of the Cultural War that ultimately subverts the laws, transforms people’s morals, ridicules the family and mocks religion.
Joining the TFP was His Imperial and Royal Highness, Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza who had just returned from St. Louis where he addressed over 1600 Catholics (click here). The American TFP also welcomed friends from Europe such as France’s Droit de Naitre and contingents from Brazil, Italy, Poland, Austria and Lithuania. The TFP was especially honored to host former Lithuanian congressman and signer of Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence Arturas Racas, who is currently one of the most read columnists in that nation.
As the kilted bagpipers, fifers and drummers made their way up the hill leading to the Supreme Court building, the cold drizzle was gone. The dire weather forecast had failed to materialize. It seemed somehow symbolic of the pro-life fight. There is no place for hesitation in this struggle. What will bring victory is fortitude and resolution to brave the storm come what may.