On the morning of Jan. 25, chartered buses from every state in the union were converging on their destination, Washington, DC, for the world’s largest annual civil-rghts demonstration — The March for Life.
Some of their passengers had been on the road for days.
We didn’t have quite that far to travel, but, still, our journey was 5-hours long. We gathered at Sacred Heart Church in Suffern before 6 am.
Bundled in layers of clothes against the single-digit temperatures, we boarded the bus with our provisions for the trip — snacks and things to read on the bus.
Our intrepid bus captain, Dave DiNapoli, (right) took attendance.
The bus captain is the go-to person on the bus, the leader who’s responsible for keeping the group together, answering their questions, and keeping them safe.
David is the son of Marie DiNapoli, of Suffern, the recruiter for the Sacred Heart bus, who took reservations, collected fares, and procured the scarves, banners, and materials for the trip.
The bus captain of the St. Paul’s bus was Eileen Peterson, of Stony Point.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Joseph Giandurco, (left) the pastor of Sacred Heart, greeted everyone outside as they entered the bus. Then he came aboard and offered us his congratulations and gave us his blessing before we left.
And then our friendly bus driver (we actually had two drivers — one is the other fellow in the photo with Msgr.) pulled out of the parking lot and we were on our way. 6 am! Bussing for Life! Washington, here we come.
Fr. Jerry Deponai (below), the pastor of St. Anthony’s in Nanuet, led us in prayer for a safe trip and that our March would be fruitful.
On the way to DC we recited The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and then watched the powerful film “180 Degrees.” The traffic was light and the weather was fine. We made good time and arrived very early at the National Mall.
We assembled the Right to Life banner, stopped to pose for a group picture, and walked with great determination and anticipation to the stage where the rally was to begin at noon.
At first we felt like we were the only ones there. The other buses from Rockland were very late, but then . . .
Everyone seemed to arrive at once — our fellow Rockland marchers along with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of others from every part of this country and around the world, who came surging to the Mall to witness for LIFE.
And by time the rally started — it was standing room only in the National Mall.
More photos by John Ferrao.