By ANTHONY SPAULDING
Director of Communications
Pope John XXIII Regional High School
SPARTA — Today, 47 Pope John XXIII Regional High School students will not only bear witness to one of the world’s biggest demonstrations, but will also join in the action.
The students will be participating in the 45th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. The students, along with three Pope John faculty members, will join thousands of people as they promote life at the world’s biggest pro-life event.
“It is going to be a great experience,” Pope John senior Joey Millar said Thursday before he and the other students hopped on a bus Friday morning to drive five hours to the event. “It is a lot of fun. We get to walk around D.C. and fight for what is right about life.”
Participation in the March for Life has become an annual tradition at Pope John. Each year students and staff members alike find renewal in their convictions and beliefs of life at the peaceful demonstration that has followed on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade every year since 1973.
It also helps them see the arguments for and against life up close.
“Taking the kids to the March for Life is a great experience,” Pope John Theology Department chairperson Brigette Hanley said. “They are going to be a part of something that is much bigger than themselves. For the first time, these kids get to see what is being protested and they get to stand for something themselves. When we go, we stand for the right to life in all forms.
“Why we go as a Catholic institution is to support the consistent ethic that basically says all human life is to be protected from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. It’s not just about abortion. It’s about euthanasia and poverty as well.
“Life is what we are going to support and defend.”
Students like Milar have participated in the March for Life with Pope John in the past. Milar loves the March itself, which starts at 1 p.m. from the Washington Monument on 14th St. and Constitution Avenue, and ends at 3 p.m. in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It was a great time,” Milar said. “"I recommend going because you get to see the passion everyone has for what they are advocating."
For students like freshman Amanda Rizzo, this is their first time going to the March for Life. Rizzo is excited to be a part of it because she has a family member who was born handicapped and she wants to advocate life on their behalf.
“Everyone deserves a shot at life,” Rizzo said. “It’s really important.”