Earlier this month, several of our students were part of a group from the New Albany Deanery who traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in the March for Life. Junior Elyse Kristiansen and senior Tyler Upton are two who attended, and both said they were impacted by the experience, from the march itself to the rallies they attended. It was Elyse’s first trip, and Tyler’s second.
The group began by attending the Life is Very Good conference at George Mason University, hosted by the Diocese of Arlington, Va., on Thursday night. Activities included performances by multiple musicians plus adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Elyse said she really liked starting the trip at the conference and sharing her joy for life with so many people.
“It was amazing to see all the youth of the country there,” Elyse said. “This was the perfect time to just take some time with God (in adoration), and reflect on why we were there. Our mission is to save and protect God’s most sacred, perfect creation – human life.”
On Friday, they started the day with Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located on the campus of Catholic University of America. Then they joined tens of thousands of people in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., walking through the National Mall to Capitol Hill.
Elyse said she found the rally before the March very moving.
“The amount of people, all from different backgrounds, who came to stand up and fight against the horrors of abortion was moving,” Elyse said. “It was the same way with the actual March for Life. We marched side by side for hours. We marched for those who couldn’t. We spoke for those who never got the chance. We were there for the lives that we lost, the babies who could’ve grown up and accomplished amazing things. It made me realize one very important thing: We have to stand up for what we believe in. Human beings have to give their ideas a voice. You have to fight for change.”
On Saturday, the group attended the Students For Life Conference in Maryland. Tyler said this conference had the greatest impact on him. Even though it was his second time attending the March, it was his first for this conference.
“I felt more connected to the speakers and keynotes because it was geared towards high school and college students,” Tyler said. “They gave us the tools we need as students to back up our understanding of what it exactly means to be pro-life. They also gave us some ideas to be more active in the pro-life movement. Overall, I felt that this second time attending March for Life gave me a better understanding of what it means to be pro-life.”
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