Eighty-two undergraduate students, three chaperones, and 28 seminarians from the Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary leave today for the 40th March for Life in Washington, D.C., which will happen this Friday, January 25.
“Hundreds of thousands of people join together, with each person having a personal life story and inspiration for being pro-life. The march is unified diversity in action. No two marches have ever been the same, and it is our students bringing their witness to and learning from this event that helps make each one and its impact unique,” said Nicholas Soellner ’12, human resources assistant at Marian University. Soellner attended the march every year during his college career and will go as a chaperone this year.
On January 22, 1974, the first March for Life took place when 20,000 people rallied on the west steps of the nation’s capital in response to the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
“The trip is more of a pilgrimage for life than a political action. The march and surrounding events are truly a celebration of life. People are patient and peaceful. Students learn that witnessing to life is not controversial or offensive, but fundamental and fulfilling,” said Kevin Schemenauer, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology and advisor for the Knights for Life club.
According to the March for Life organization’s web site, “This year in particular we aim to raise awareness in the minds of all Americans of the 40th anniversary. Our theme includes an equation: 40=55M, to signify that in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, 55 million of our fellow human beings have lost their lives to abortion.”
This year marks a record high in the number of Marian University students attending the march. While the students are in Washington, D.C., not only will they have the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery and the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, but they will also learn about expressing their beliefs through peaceful protest.
“Participants may not change the hearts of politicians and the march may not receive a lot of media attention, but the students receive satisfaction from knowing that they made sacrifices to be a visible witness for the pre-born who remain the poorest of the poor in this country,” Schemenauer said.