"This was my fourth trip to DC for the March for Life (my third with ND RTL). In previous years, after returning, I would respond along the lines of, 'Great! There were a lot of people at the March and I had a good time in DC.' and think no more of it when asked how the trip went. But this year, I began to feel uneasy with that response.
The reason we go to DC is to speak out against the culture of death in this country. Is that really an event that I should return from feeling like I 'had a great time?' Is it ok for me to spend a day exploring monuments and museums in addition to attending the March and other Pro-Life events like Masses or the Sisters of Life exhibit? Was the weekend really about the March or rather about building new friendships while riding the Metro and eating at IHOP? Should I really enjoy participating in an event that is speaking out about an unspeakable evil?
After pondering this questions for a while and trying to find an adequate way to express 'how the trip went' to my friends who asked; I have concluded that all of these things are not only okay, but really the reason we go to DC to March for Life in the first place. Thinking on the lively religious from El Instituto del Verbo Encarnado (The Institute of the Incarnate Word) and the children they bring to the March led me to this conclusion. Every year, I can't wait to March alongside IVE because, amongst their large group of priests and sisters, a few jam on their drums while the others dance and sing, all the way from the Mall to the Supreme Court. IVE has shown me that the March is not about anger or resentment or sadness (although these emotions are definitely felt to varying levels), but rather the March is truly about Life. Supporting Life. Enjoying Life. Loving Life. The March is a celebration of Life rather than just another angry protest. Looking around while there, it is easy to see this. All around you are thousands upon thousands of children and parents, priests, brothers, and sisters praying, singing, dancing, all with smiles upon their faces; new friendships are being formed, old ones are being cherished, and spirits are being uplifted. This is the key to the Pro-Life movement -- it is a movement of love.
Now, I am proud to say that I enjoyed my trip to DC to March for Life. I formed new friendships with great people and also spent quality time with old friends both while Marching to support Life and exploring the past of our great country. I hope that once we have beaten this scourge which is upon our nation, we continue to gather in DC to celebrate this human victory each year. I think that all Pro-life people should continue to gather to show that it is not and never was a political victory, but a victory for all humans and that we will never be content to let things return to how there are now. (In addition, there are other Pro-Life issues which need to be addressed besides Roe v. Wade.) We should continue to gather to show those who oppose life that the Pro-Life movement always was and will be a movement of love and hope and a celebration of Life. With all this in mind, I look forward to returning to DC next year, hopefully to celebrate a great victory for human dignity, but in the least to join again with El Instituto del Verbo Encarnado in a great Celebration of Life."