Last week, a group of Owensboro Catholic High School students and their chaperones went to Washington, D.C. to participate in the March for Life. While in Washington, D.C., they also toured the White House and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
This particular trip to the Nation’s Capital would have been like any other journey, but on this occasion it was notable for two occurrences.
The first of these occurrences involved a counter-demonstration at the March for Life. Towards the end of the end of the rally, a large number of these pro-abortion supporters stood in the way of the group from Owensboro (who were attempting to leave the area) and began heckling them, despite the presence of the police. Some of the protesters were holding signs with the slogans “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology” and “Keep Abortion Patients Safe” (with the last two words covering up the word “legal”). As the heckling continued, the Owensboro teenagers began singing the Our Father. Such singing enraged the protesters, but the teenagers managed to finish singing, and walked away. Some of the protesters were later arrested.
What is remarkable about this incident is how the teenagers stood firm in the face of such adversity.
The second occurrence took place on the way back to Owensboro, Kentucky, when the Northeastern United States was hit by a massive snowstorm (so much for global warming). As a result, this Pro-Life group got stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for twenty hours. Being confined on a bus for that length of time would have probably driven some people insane, but this group managed to persevere. Such perseverance took the form of praying, singing, interacting with various motorists, card games, etc.
Father Ken Geraci, who accompanied the group on its journey, cited the experience as an opportunity for the teenagers to exercise their faith, even saying that the trip was a pilgrimage. Being stranded for nearly a day attracted national attention for the group, including being an interview for Fox and Friends Weekend.
For me, the ordeal that these individuals underwent was more than a pilgrimage, it was a battle. In fact, it reminded me of two events from American History — Valley Forge and the Battle of the Bulge, and how the Americans managed to persevere against the elements and overcome their adversaries.
Eventually, the group managed to get to a hotel, and would return to Owensboro a few days later.
I should add that one of my nieces was among the teenagers in that group, as well as her parents (who were chaperons). In addition, the area they were stranded in (Bedford County, Pennsylvania) was where the Linn family settled in America during the 1700s.