BUFFALO, October 8, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The election and pleasant weather may have aided turnout in some areas, but the strongest motivation behind the massive turnout for Sunday’s Life Chain was the life-affirming views of the participants.

Life Chain, now in its 25th year, gathered in an estimated 1,500 locations across the United States on Sunday afternoon. 

Some 2,250 people took part in Buffalo, New York, forming a chain that local media say ran 19 miles long.

“To me, the right to life is the first, inalienable right for every person,” Monsignor Thomas F. Maloney, pastor of St. Amelia’s Catholic Church in Tonawanda, New York, said. “That’s why I am out here today.” 

Similar chains dotted cities large and small across the country, as they have every year since 1987. Once again pro-lifers held signs bearing messages such as “Adoption, the Loving Option” and “Abortion Hurts Women” – themes echoed by the multitudes who took part in the event.

“Even without this being an election year, we want people to see us here and know that abortion hurts women,”  Kerry Frantz said. The 50-year-old adopted two boys, who joined him on the line in Peoria, Illinois. 

The annual chain is intended to be non-partisan and non-confrontational.

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From its humble beginnings, hundreds of thousands take part and millions of Americans are reached each year on the first Sunday of October. Last year 1,718 participated in Milwaukee. 42 chains criss-crossed the state of Wisconsin alone.

Bilingual signs were available nationwide.

The peaceful intent of those who gather, often silently, to pray and bear silent witness to the love and compassion of the pro-life movement, does not deter those who are consumed with hatred at pro-lifers – or God – from accosting those who stand vigil.

“You always have a few that will give what I call the one finger salute, but it’s a silent protest,” Tony Maturo said at the gathering in northern Georgia, “so we just smile and remember that God loves them, too.”