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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In one of his last official acts as President of the United States, Donald Trump issued an executive order Monday identifying scores of historical figures to be honored in the new National Garden of American Heroes, among them March for Life founder Nellie Gray and famous radio and television preacher Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
Trump ordered the creation of the new national park in July 2020, announcing that it would be a “vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.” His latest executive order includes a long list of the figures to be honored, including Gray, who passed away in 2012 at 88 years old.
Gray was the founder and organizer of the largest annual peaceful protest in the United States, the March for Life. Every year (until 2021), hundreds of thousands of people gathered together in the nation’s capital under the banner of her vision to express their support for the pro-life movement and their disagreement with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Once described by Cardinal Sean O’Malley as the “Joan of Arc” of the pro-life movement, Gray spoke eloquently about the dangers of compromising pro-life principles for the sake of perceived expediency.
“What we have seen is that there was an effort to compromise on this basic subject of life for which there is no compromise,” she argued in 1994. “You’re either for or against it. There is no neutrality and there is no in between. You can’t have a little bit of abortion. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You must understand that life must be protected in total. And once those principles were broken, more and more education was done that it is alright to kill some babies and unfortunately that came from those who were trying to defend life. And when that wrong message got through then unfortunately we’ve had 22 years of going downhill.”
Other figures designated to receive statues in the executive order include Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who was outspokenly pro-abortion), Archbishop Fulton Sheen, National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., defector from Soviet Russia Whittaker Chambers, and conservative intellectuals Russel Kirk and Clare Boothe Luce, as well as former presidents, generals, athletes, entertainers, and other icons of American history and culture.