At 6 am, on Jan. 24, the coldest morning of the winter (7 degrees), prolife Rocklanders braved the frigid temperatures to set out for Washington, DC, for the 38th annual March for Life.
The day fortunately offered one of the brief windows of good weather between the snowstorms that have been slamming the county since Christmas.
Our three buses arrived at the National Mall around 11 am, and joined the more than 200,000 marchers from across the country, who came to our nation’s capital to call for an end to the tragedy of abortion on demand.
At noon at the Mall, the Rally began. “There was something new in the air. An excitement, an electricity,” said Joe O’Brien of Upper Nyack, a veteran marcher.
The audience was greeted by a wave of new faces, one prolife speaker after another – an unprecedented 46 members of Congress alone – who each declared his resolution to fight to restore the values of Life. Many were newly elected to Congress and had campaigned on the promise to end legalized abortion in America.
Among the better-known speakers was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) who said, “The right to life is universal, and not reserved only for the planned.”
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind) declared, “The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America.”
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss) vowed to reintroduce a bill that would establish that human life begins at conception and call for legal protection for the unborn.
At the conclusion of the Rally, the Rockland groups joined the great parade of marchers who carried their prolife messages proclaimed on signs and banners down Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building.
The leaders of the Rockland marchers were Eileen Peterson, captain of the bus from St. Gregory’s and Joe O’Brien and Patrick Sweeney, co-captains of the bus from St. Francis. Mary Parisi and Deacon Crapanzano were the leaders of the bus from Albertus Magnus High School.
Clergy from Rockland who came to march were Msgr. John Boachie, from the Church of St. Paul in Congers, Deacon Luke Conroy, from St. Ann’s in Nyack, and three seminarians from the Tagaste Monastery in Suffern, Bros. Jorge Mateos, Ulyses Moyao, and Jorge Valdivia.
In the line of march, the Rockland contingent met up with an old friend, Rev. Brendan Gormley, formerly of St. Paul’s in Congers, now serving at St. Barnabus in the Bronx. Father Brendan was one of the Rockland bus captains for last year’s March and had said mass for the group in Washington.
At the end of the day, the group assembled at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where some marchers attended mass. Everyone had the opportunity to warm up and grab a bite to eat before the ride home.
The buses arrived back in Rockland around 11 pm.
The Rockland Right to Life Committee thanks everyone who was the voice for the unborn this year, especially those who attended the March for Life in Washington. We would also like to thank the many generous prolifers whose contributions made the trip possible, especially the members of St. Anthony’s parish in Nanuet.
We will continue to post photos and pieces about the March as they come in, so please continue to check out our website, http://www.RocklandRTL.org.