A Younger Generation Marches for Life | John Burger | Catholic World Report
The 2013 March for Life, which marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, was a youthful and youth-filled event.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the beginning, Nellie Gray imagined there would be a need for one march for life. It was a year after the Roe v Wade decision, and there was perhaps just enough outrage that people felt a legislative remedy could be attained.
“But then we realized that Congress wasn’t going to help, so we had a second,” Gray reflected.
And a third, and a fourth…
Today, the 2013 March for Life marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which struck down most abortion laws in the United States. It was the first March for Life without Gray, who died last August at the age of 88. But for those who knew her and worked with her, and for thousands of people who have been to the annual event in the past, her spirit was everywhere.
The story of her initial naiveté was revealed in a moving video tribute to the attorney-turned-activist, which was broadcast on large jumbotrons for the hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers gathered on the National Mall. Jeanne Monahan, the new leader of the march, and others extolled Gray’s dedication, perseverance and spunk, and a younger generation — which made up perhaps 90% of the rally and march—seemed by their enthusiasm more than ready and willing to take up her mantle.
Gabrielle Hoekstra, for example, attending the march for the first time, finds that more and more young people are becoming more pro-life -- or at least are open to listening to pro-life ideas.
“It’s something I feel very passionate about,” said Hoekstra, a junior studying aeronautical science at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. “When I was younger my parents were active in local crisis pregnancy centers. When you go to college you realize there are a lot of people out there who are prochoice, and it’s important to stand in your values and have the reasons to support them. Coming to places like this you can get together with other people who share your values and educate yourself more so you can defend your prolife position.”