||Juniors and seniors from St. Ambrose Academy in Madison stand in Washington, D.C., during this year’s March for Life with their trademark cow flag. (Contributed photo)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Students at St. Ambrose Academy in Madison recently returned from their biennial trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
The junior and senior classes, along with their chaperones, departed for the nation's capital on January 25 for the nearly 900-mile journey.
The contingent from St. Ambrose, along with tens of thousands of others, marched to the U.S. Supreme Court building on January 27 to show witness to their opposition of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country in 1973.
In addition to marching to the Supreme Court during their stay, the students explored the monuments area in downtown Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Arlington Cemetery, and other historical sites on the route such as Gettysburg and the birthplace of John Carroll, the first American Catholic bishop.
They also visited the area's historical Catholic sites, including Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Below are some reflections written by some of the students about their experiences at the March for Life.
What is most memorable from the experience?
Sarah Mills, senior: I learned that there are a lot more pro-lifers than I thought. Even if the media chooses to turn their attention elsewhere, we are not alone and we are changing people's hearts and minds. There were speakers there that were former abortion industry workers and their testimonies were incredible.
Jaimee Prado, senior: The youth rally and the Mass at the Verizon Center and being surrounded by thousands of Catholics united under the celebration of the Eucharist and standing up for the dignity of life.
Thérèse Klingele, junior: I was very moved during the youth rally Mass seeing all the Catholics flood in to join together. It was such a powerful moment, realizing no matter how isolated one may feel in this very liberal city, you are not alone.
Miriam Seitz, junior: When the vice president gave his speech and called on us marchers to continue but with joy and a generous spirit. Also one of the speakers called out those who stand against the pro-life movement and he said we must forgive them.
Grace Ganser, senior: The first most memorable moment for me was seeing kids our age standing up and professing the same pro-life message. The Mass before the march was moving beyond belief, since instead of being depressed about all the abortion statistics, we were joyful, knowing that we were marching to save lives.
What would you like people to know about the march?
Mills: It is amazing and everyone around you is your friend. Even if you can't attend the march, letting participants know that you are praying for them and supporting them makes a difference and means a lot.
Prado: That you are never alone in your belief in defending life from conception to natural death. The media does no justice to the spirit and participation that is present in the march.
There is so much diversity present at the march and an abundance of passionate youth.
Klingele: That no one is alone in this, that there is hope and that everyday the pro-life movement progresses to begin a culture of life again.
Seitz: The March for Life is more than just a protest. Each person marching had a story, a reason to march. In the midst of the horrible genocide of innocents, people were singing and smiling. We know the horror and our protest was not the march but was our joy and forgiveness.
It was awesome! The amount of people present should be a testimony to the whole world.
Ganser: I would like people to know that the March for Life gave me a greater appreciation for people standing up for their faith
The weather was very encouraging.