The double decker buses have been parked and our hoarse voices have returned to full strength as March for Life Chicago signs slowly slip behind shelves in the garage.
On January 18th, 4,000 Illinoisans (and Wisconsinites and Hoosiers) set out with one goal:
To call upon our religious, civic, and community leaders to renew every effort to build a state that affirms the authentic dignity of women, the gift of children, and a culture dedicated to protecting life at every stage of development in law and love.
Little did we know, we would accomplish this and so much more.
Father Joshua Caswell sent Illinois Right to Life this email after returning from the March for Life in D.C.:
“Everywhere we went in DC and everyone who came up to us and found out we were from Chicago heard all about the Chicago March and its huge success. Some from places like Charlotte, NC, and Detroit, MI are considering holding a march now as well. You have given hope and inspiration to a lot of people from all over the US.”
In the spring of 2014, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles called Illinois Right to Life for advice on how to throw their own pro-life event. The Archdiocese wanted to model it after the positive and loving approach of the March for Life Chicago. The first ever Los Angeles pro-life event took place last week. The result? See Archbishop Gomez with the crowd below:
The March for Life in D.C. (400,000 + people) and in San Francisco (50,000 + people) have long felt like an unexplainable phenomenon. We’re not really sure how these pro-life marches became so massive and successful, but our hearts are full of pride and admiration that they did. And then there was Chicago. In the past two years, the new March for Life Chicago has more than doubled its attendance each year. The Chicago March wrapped our city in pro-life love as we appeared on nearly every major news outlet in Chicago reaching an estimated additional 500,000 people.
The incredible success of Chicago sent a clear and resounding message to pro-life communities across the nation: you can do it. If Chicago can do it, then so can you.
So Illinois, as you march through the Chicago streets next year, remember that this isn’t just Illinois’ march. We’re part of a movement inspiring people around the nation to stand up for life until we’ve succeed in building a culture dedicated to protecting life at every stage of development.