I couldn’t believe it when my parents actually signed the paper to allow me to go to Washington D.C. by myself! Well, not by myself, with a club at my school. There were sixteen of us; three chaperones, six seniors, four juniors, and three sophomores. I was a junior. I had two good friends that went on the trip. When I got back to Florida I had twelve. Looking back at my expectations for the trip I realize now they were very low. All I wanted to do was have a good time with my friends and see Washington D.C. I don’t even remember thinking of the cause until I was actually experiencing it. I went to have fun, and I did, while my Youth for Life group and I marched in the March for Life of 2010.
Our plane arrived in Washington on a chilly Wednesday night. Luckily one of the seniors knew how to work the metro system. So our big group of sixteen jumped from train to train with all our heavy coats and luggage. Surprisingly we made it to the Hyatt without losing anyone. The next day we did the typical Washington sightseeing. Noticing the amount of homeless people in our country’s capital one of our chaperons, a former Franciscan brother, bought fifty hamburgers from McDonalds and took the seniors to hand them out. It was at this point I began to appreciate and realized how fortunate I was to be with these people.
It was Friday, January 22, the thirty-seventh anniversary of Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. It is this day that the annual March for Life is held. Our group woke up and went to the eight o’clock mass in the hotel with many other students like us. It was obvious everyone in the hotel was there for the march so we just followed the crowd towards China Town. Assuming we were in the March we walked about two miles before we reached a giant field with thousands of people crowded on it listening to speakers. We stood shoulder to shoulder for about two hours next to the jam-packed field. This was possibly the most painful experience I have ever endured. Finally we began to inch forward and off we went! People were praying out loud and silently, chanting and singing. My favorite chant was ‘Hey, Hey. Ho, Ho. Roe v. Wade has got to go!’ I had never before in my life felt so unified with so many people. I was freezing, pain was shooting through my feet but I was having a blast. When we reach the capital building (aka: end point) I felt like Rocky when he reached the top of the steps. I knew I had accomplished something amazing.
I had always been prolife but just put it off as a lost cause believing I was part of a minority in my belief. Later I found out 300,000 people attended the March for Life. Remembering the spirit and dedication in the youth, both male and female, I made the assumption that there will not be another thirty-seven years of marches. My generation will live in a country that does not approve of the killing of unborn babies. Before this trip I had no idea how truly remarkable my class mates were, how much pain I could endure, or how many people would leave their comfortable homes and march for the unborn. During this trip I truly saw the best in each individual I encountered and what I saw was beautiful.
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