We made sure to say a prayer before we crossed the border. This is always a good idea when you have a car full of pro-life signs and pamphlets. Between divine intervention and judicious flashing of four years worth of orthodontics, we slipped uneventfully into Buffalo. We were three young pro-lifers on our way to our first March for Life in Washington.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that opened the door to abortion on demand in the United States. It is also the 30th anniversary of the March for Life, the pro-life demonstration that protests those decisions. For the first time, the March for Life organizers had invited Campaign Life Coalition to have a table at the convention held in conjunction with the March, and we were happy to oblige. Other groups represented were Priests for Life and the Eternal Word Television Network, so we were in exceptionally good company (Mother Angelica wasn’t there, but Father Frank Pavone was).

We arrived in Washington early Sunday evening and made our way over to Union Station to avail ourselves of the services there. Walking towards us were three rough-looking teen-agers. Arrayed in dog-collars, steel-toed boots and blue, pointy hair, they were making me a little nervous. Surely we hadn’t made our way safely through the great Buffalo blizzard of 2003 only to be attacked by a roving band of Washington punk rockers? My fears were relieved when I noticed they were wearing sweatshirts that proclaimed “Abortion is homicide,” and “Equal rights for preborn humans.” If they were pro-embryonic life, they were probably pro-Canadian life as well, so I smiled as we passed them, and was rewarded with a black-lipsticked grin in return.

This was a good sign. Three days before the March, and Washington was already starting to blossom with pro-lifers (some more colourful than others). Rock for Life was running an event at the same hotel as the March for Life convention, so we saw many more young people in wild outfits, as well as more conservatively attired youth. Most seemed to be wearing some version of the infamous Rock for Life T-shirts that condemn abortion in various ways on the front, while stating on the back, “You will not silence our message/You will not mock our God/You will stop killing our generation.” These shirts have caused various and sundry uproars in the States and Canada as students get suspended from school for wearing them. Apparently, some American high school principals have not heard of a little thing called the First Amendment.

After our adventure at Union Station, we went to the Hyatt hotel, where the convention was being held. There we set up the CLC table and prepared to take on the hoards of Americans anxious to know what the pro-life movement is doing in Canada. It turned out that the crowds were manageable and people were interested and happy to see Canada represented. We talked to hundreds of people about LifeSite.net, and signed many up for the daily news service. We also had a wonderful opportunity to see what other groups were doing and talk to them about it.

But everything we did was simply a prelude to the March. The March itself can only be described as awe-inspiring. Six traffic lanes filled with pro-lifers stretching from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Supreme Court. Working in the pro-life movement, you sometimes start to believe that it’s you against the world. Being in the middle of 200,000 people of like mind was very encouraging. It is estimated that half of those 200,000 were under 25 years old. This is even more encouraging. Young people are realizing that abortion is not the boon our mothers were told it was. Today’s youth are seeing the truth.

Our crack team of info distributors, which included CLC president Jim Hughes and Ottawa lobbyist Aidan Reid, gave out over 4,000 LifeSite information cards to marchers, which was an act of bravery, as we had to remove our gloves in -25C degree weather to handle the cards. We were joined in carrying the CLC banner by George Dienesch of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and our old friend Alex Vernon, who miraculously found us in the crush at the start of the March.

The March was peaceful and prayerful, and while we were somber, remembering the lost little ones for whom we were marching, as a group we were infused with a quiet energy. The ranks of pro-lifers are growing each year, while advocates of death see their own population dwindling right out of existence.

As we marched, almost a quarter of a million strong, we knew in our hearts that one day we will no longer need to march. One day we will have won.