Story by Dawn Price, Reporter
Photo Courtesy of Dawn Price
A total of nine Aquinas students travelled on a 14-hour bus drive Thursday night into Friday morning to participate in the March for Life. Arriving in Washington DC at about 6:45 a.m. on Friday morning, the group was dropped off at the World War II Memorial. Since the rally for the March for Life didn’t start until after 11:30 a.m., we decided to get breakfast and then do a little bit of sightseeing beforehand. We walked back to the World War II Memorial, headed to the Lincoln Memorial, and then to the rally.
Hearing that security was supposed to be intense with Vice President Pence speaking at the rally, we got there at about 9 a.m. and went through rather easily. We stood decently close to the stage and about parallel to where the cameras stood. We stood there in the cold for about two and a half hours before a band started playing a set, getting the crowd excited for the event. Following them were multiple speakers. Vice President Pence was the second to speak and spoke about the opportunities the cause had with newly elected officials. After him, a few senators spoke about their views on being pro-life.
At about 12:45 p.m., the Aquinas group decided to move toward the line for the March. We stood there for another half hour or so before moving along the streets. We held up signs and chanted about being pro-life.
The amount of people there made so much of a difference. You hear that hundreds of thousands go to this march but you do not truly understand what that means until you experience it yourself. The amount of people who care about the cause really made the experience more real.
The March ended at Capitol Hill at around 4 p.m. Afterwards, our group went back to the hotel, unpacked, grabbed dinner, and relaxed until we were given the opportunity to take a bus tour around the city. This included stopping at various points and being given a certain amount of time to take pictures and take in the view of the many large monuments. That night, we visited the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the White House, the Marines Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial.
The next day, the group split up to tour and sightsee. That day, capitol tours were offered and half of the group took advantage of that while the other had the chance to visit the John Paul II national shrine. At the end of the day, we were able to relax a little bit before having to leave on Sunday. The buses left at 10:30 a.m. and our group w
as dropped off in Grand Rapids at about midnight.
When asked about the trip, Freshman Grant Hengesbach said, “This was the hands down one of the best trips I have been a part of. It was so much fun to go on a trip with so many people with the same stance on a major issue. I can’t imagine such a trip without the superb group of people from other colleges and even from Aquinas. The whole experience was moving from the Pro-life presentation, to the March, and even to the bus rides.”
Samantha Schaller, sophomore and President of the Saints for Life group on campus, said that it was “cool to see so many people join together for such a worthy cause. It was unimaginable the amount of people that were at the March.” She also said, “I’ve never gone to DC or the March before so it was fun going for the first time and leading the fun group we had.”
Overall, the trip was a good experience for those who went on it.