A warm welcome on a cold day for pro-life Canadians who came to cheer on U.S. marchers (PHOTOS)
WASHINGTON, DC, January 23, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Their hands ached, not from the freezing temperatures – they are Canadian after all - but from giving all those ‘high-fives’ for hours as the U.S. March for Life processed past the Canadian embassy where the delegation of young pro-life Canadians stood to cheer on their U.S. counterparts.
“We wanted to stand in solidarity with our pro-life US neighbors,” said Alissa Golob, head of Campaign Life Coalition Youth (CLCY), to LifeSiteNews.com, who pointed out that standing up for the unborn is simply part of living up to Canadians’ reputation for being “caring and compassionate.”
Campaign Life Coalition, organizers of Canada’s own March for Life, which takes place in May, sent the 15-strong youth delegation to attend the DC March.
The team arrived one day prior to the March. Golob spoke at the Law of Life Summit, one of the official March for Life activities, where she was joined over 30 U.S. pro-life leaders.
“Since abortion was decriminalized in 1969, we’ve had 45 different pieces of legislation that have been put forward by Canadian MPs throughout the years attempting to pass some sort of law on abortion, and not one has passed,” she told participants.
“We're counting on you to overturn Roe vs Wade. We're counting on you to use your influence to help empower the great white north. Big brother may be watching you - but so are we.”
That night, the team was also able to take in the Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where they joined 10,000 participants 33 bishops, 300 priests, 60 deacons, and 550 seminarians. There the team was delighted to see Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins co-celebrate the Mass.
On the day of the March, the Canadian team had obtained a permit to hold their banners, signs, and a large Canadian flag along the route of the march, right in front of the Canadian Embassy.
“We were chanting and yelling that we support [the pro-life marchers] and they were running over to us giving us high-fives and taking pictures with us and thanking us for supporting them,” Golob said.
One banner the group held read: “Canadians Stand with Pro-Life America.” Another read: “Abortion is a Crime Against Humanity.”
But the team may have received more support than it gave, as numerous U.S. pro-lifers who marched by thanked the Canadians for their presence and support.
“They kept singing to us the Canadian National Anthem,” CLC’s Matthew Wojciechowski told LifeSiteNews.com, explaining how American marchers honored the Canadians at the famous Dubliner Irish pub after the March activities concluded.
Jim Hughes, CLC’s National President —who has been attending the US March for Life since its beginning — told LifeSiteNews.com he was proud of the CLCY youth delegation for braving the freezing temperatures to support the American fight to bring justice to the unborn.
Hughes related to some guests at the Rose Dinner how Nellie Gray, foundress of the US March for Life “bugged me” for years to start a Canadian March. He said that it took several years of Gray shooting down all his objections before a decision was made to begin a March in Canada. CLC began organizing the Canadian March 17 years ago. From very humble beginnings, it has grown to tens of thousands of participants annually.
Golob said that Canadians wanting to end abortion can learn some important lessons from their U.S. neighbors.
“Canadians can learn a lot from the incremental steps America has taken in their battle to overturn Roe vs Wade, which is why joining forces and standing in solidarity is so important,” she said.
Golob especially liked how US march organizers created this year a March for Life app that allowed participants to stay abreast of events.
Golob said that at the end of the day, abortion is an issue that affects everyone, “regardless of country or border”.
“Children all around the world are being killed at the hands of abortionists. All of us, from every country must stand together and demand an end to the killing,” she said.
LifeSiteNews Canadian journalist Peter Baklinski contributed to this report
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