As we come to the end of our March for Life 2013 coverge, we’d like to thank a group of unsung heroes – the Right to Life banner pole assemblers.
For 30 years, our iconic ‘I ♥ Life’ banners have flown bravely over many Marches for Life, St. Patrick’s Day parades, and prolife events. Designed and constructed by the late Tom Niblo, they are miracles of home-made ingenuity.
And they are also somewhat pesky when it comes to assembling them – an operation that challenges you to figure out how to fit together all those crazy telescoping poles of various lengths and how to secure them the odd collection of screws, washers and assorted hardware that Tom provided.
This can only be done barehanded and — with the March for Life temperature usually below freezing, the wind blowing, and fellow marchers impatient to get the show on the road — it takes good circulation, a steady hand, a keen mind, and stout heart to be a banner pole assembler.
Then, after the March, the poles have to disassembled, collapsed, wrapped up in plastic bags, and transported by cab to the Basilica (long, pointy things are not allowed on the Metro), and eventually lugged to the bus for the trip back home.
In all their many public appearances over the years, the banners have never come crashing down on their wranglers or nearby marchers — no matter how hard the rain fell or the wind blew – nor have they ever been lost or damaged.
All this is a tribute to the many of you who have assembled them with care and carried them with pride – this, the symbol of the prolife community of Rockland.
Thank you everyone!
We’ll see you at the March next year!