by Felix Makinen, 11th Grade
On January 21, 2023, the St. Louis de Montfort Academy was glad to participate in the 49th March for Life in Washington, D.C., especially since it was the first March after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. In contrast, sadly, it was also the 50th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. As is customary, the staff and students joined the American TFP handing out flyers, carrying banners or TFP standards, or playing in the legendary band.
Before band members formed, they found their group leaders and went to predesignated locations to hand out flyers; other students handed out flyers near the statue the statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried by the TFP honor guard. Those handing out flyers took a box and braved the cold while crowds of people hurried down the sidewalk. As we approached the passersby, there were several reactions including indifference, excitement, or, in a few cases, even anger. Many were happy to see us there and thanked us for coming recognizing the TFP symbols. Several said they had seen the TFP at college campaigns on YouTube videos. About a quarter of the crowd ignored us and would not even respond to our “have a nice day” or “God bless.” Only in a few instances did people become angry at our pro-life stance.
When the time was ripe at about one o’clock, we headed to designated area where band, TFP standards and Fatima statue would form. Informally this place is called the “toll booth” where those who are not in the band or holding standards or banners hand out flyers in the street to those parading by. Once the band warmed up, they started going through their well-practiced routines while the March went by. The crowd was huge and those with flyers went into the crowd to hand them out. It gave a boost of morale when the statue of Our Lady Fatima arrived, as she was carried toward the beginning of the March. Some people would leave the crowd to read our banners and thank us for what we were doing. The hundreds of thousands finally dwindled after an hour or so.
As the end of the parading crowd went by, the band, standards, banners and statue formed at the rear, marching to the end which finished at the Supreme Court. Those not in the band or carrying something persevered in handing out flyers to the crowd watching on the sidewalk. The crowd randomly would come to sudden standstills, forcing us to march in place. Once we arrived at the Supreme Court, we attempted to stop and play the Star-Spangled Banner, but the police yelled and turned on their sirens at the onset. To the paradors’ dismay they tried forced everyone off of the road, with their sirens blasting out the whole performance. Though there was no room on the sidewalk for the drummers, they insisted the band march that way. So off we went as best we could.
As a whole, the 2023 March for Life was a morale booster for those defending innocent lives. Until abortion is unthinkable, the Academy will march on fighting for God and moral values.