Reflections on the 39th Annual March for Life

On January 23, 2012, twenty people from Holy Trinity and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit embarked on an all-day pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., to stand in defense of our nation’s unborn at the 39th March for Life.

Here, in their own words, are two first-person accounts of their remarkable experience.

I wanted, but was unable, to attend the last four years. This year I was committed to going and was thrilled [Holy Trinity] had organized the entire trip, making the day much less daunting.

It was rainy and cold in Washington that Monday but the mud did not dampen the resolve of the crowds. There were lots of banners, many held high above young adults and teenagers. I … saw a young women with a sign that read: “As a former fetus, I oppose abortion.” Although there were many creative slogans, most signs simply read “Life” or “I vote pro-life first.” It was invigorating to see so many young people committed to protecting life at conception…

We found [our fellow Orthodox Christians] at the end of the March and received a blessing from the Metropolitan. I was excited to see the familiar icons raised high. While at the March, I had to choke back tears many times as I read signs, looked at pictures and reflected on the reason for this annual pilgrimage. At least 52 million babies have been killed legally just since 1973.

It is shameful that the debate has turned into a “private” issue between a woman and her doctor despite that more babies are killed every day than perished on the 9/11 attacks. With nearly 22% of annual pregnancies in America ended by induced abortion, evidence of our “culture of death,” is all around; and more unwilling Americans are pulled into participating in the massacre through tax-funded abortions.

Father John was right when he said that hearts need to change before laws will. May the Lord have mercy on the lives of the unborn and strengthen our hearts to speak out for the very least of these.

— Corene Swisher

View photographs from the event on Facebook

The weather was wet and dreary but spirits were high. For many in the group, this was the first time making the trip and we were unsure of what to expect. One thing we did know was that we were all marching for the same cause, the fight against abortion.

After a short trip on the Metro we ascended into the streets of the capital and marched for a couple of hours with thousands, sometimes shoulder to shoulder at a snail’s pace, to “defend life.” What an amazing feeling to be marching with an estimated 500,000 others – all fighting for the same purpose! After marching over a mile…we were able to locate the Orthodox contingent. There we received a blessing from His Beatitude Met. Jonah and we greeted other Orthodox faithful. Shortly thereafter we were back on the metro and PA bound. What a great experience it was to be a part of this first time event!

— Brenda Smith

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