SEE LIFESITENEWS MARCH FOR LIFE FEATURE PHOTO PAGES here
WASHINGTON, January 31, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today we present the first two pages of a series of additional photos from the Washington March for Life. More pages will follow over the next few days.
Two things especially stand out. Youth were dominant in the march and there is also a large and growing presence of traditional religious expression in the march. Priests, religious brothers and sisters, religious communities and seminarians seemed to be present in greater than ever numbers. There was much organized prayer, hymn singing and chanting.
The numerous youth groups are developing more sophisticated pro-life chants. The yellow-balloon-themed group from Chicago’s St. John Cantius Church obviously spent a fair amount of time practicing their entertaining routines for the march. They also mixed in some impressive hymn singing between their astonishingly energetic pro-life routines.
Were the numbers large enough to have made the march a genuine news item that mainstream media should have reported, but didn’t – yet again? But then, were the exciting, successful march for life events important enough in themselves, regardless of media coverage? Many participants appeared to agree with the latter sentiment, given the high level of enthusiasm witnessed at every March for Life related event.
Page 1 of the LSN photo feature presents a series of images of the large crowd gathered before the march around the podium and on the side streets before the march began. The crowds were massive.
Hilary White’s article, Some March for Life fun facts and a few thoughts on media blackouts and John Jalsevac’s blog post, Pro-life stealth technology? provide a few chuckles on the annual media negligence regarding the march and its huge numbers.
Nellie Gray, March for Life president and chief organizer of the march for the past 38 years of its existence, says that this was the largest crowd that she can recall in all those years. Last year the committee gave an unofficial estimate of 400,000 for the 2010 march, the largest yet. This year, the numbers were at least that level, and many observers, including LifeSiteNews staff, were convinced that there was a significant increase yet again this year.
Why? President Obama.
The most pro-abortion president in American history has rejuvenated the pro-life movement. In 2010 23 congressmen and 1 senator addressed the march from the podium. This year that number more than doubled as a result of the Republican, or as some are saying, Tea Party sweep of the mid-term elections.
About 90% of the new congressmen are reported to be pro-life. The 52 congressmen and one senator who addressed the march last week appeared to affirm that report. (See the complete list here) They gave powerful, brief speeches full of conviction and determination with many unapologetic, public acknowledgments of the importance of God in their personal lives and for the direction of the nation. See a video of all the speeches here.
Back to the numbers again, the March for Life Education and Defense Fund 2011 Annual Report lists the attendance estimates for many of the past years as follows:
1974 – 20,000 (the first march)
1975 – 50,000
1976 – 65,000
Up to 100,000 through 1986
1988 – 50,000
1989 – 65,000
1990 – 200,000
1993 – 200,000
1998 – 225,000
1999 – 125,000
2000 – 100,000
2001 – 225,000
2002 – 100,000
2003 – 200,000
2005 – 100,000
2006 – 100,000
2007 – 100,000+
2009 – 300,000
2010 – 400,000
The March for Life website states the following about the 2011 march:
The number of marchers who made the journey to our nation’s capital once again exceeded the record number of participants that attended the previous year. Some estimates pegged the number at approximately 400,000, about the same as 2010. But other experienced observers thought that the crowd was much larger than last year, especially considering that tens of thousands of marchers got a jump start and reached Capitol Hill before the main contingent even left the staging area!
NOTE: All photos on March for Life feature photo pages were taken by LifeSiteNews staff John-Henry Westen, Joseph Jalsevac and Steve Jalsevac
See related story:
ABC, CBS, NBC All Ignore 2011 ‘March for Life’ In Mon. Evening, Tues. Morning News Coverage
See all LifeSiteNews March for Life related reports:
* 400,000 March for Life in DC with great joy
* 5 Cardinals, 39 Bishops, 10,000 faithful pack basilica for Vigil for Life Mass
* Coming and going: filling the U.S. national basilica and Metro with pro-life youth
* ‘World’s largest’ student pro-life conference equips, energizes young pro-life vanguard
* Nearly 50% of top colleges’ health plans cover abortion: Students for Life
* Obama pledges abortion support on 38th Roe v. Wade anniversary
* GOP House Leader at March for Life: permanent ban on taxpayer funding of abortion top priority
* Post-abortive mothers share stories of grief, redemption on Supreme Court steps
* Pro-life texting campaign launched at Life Marches
* Rep. Michele Bachmann: Life is ‘not a sidebar issue’
* Some March for Life fun facts and a few thoughts on media blackouts
* $600,000 awarded to pro-life heroes at ‘perfect’ Life Prizes ceremony
* Back from Washington