by Maria Vitale Gallagher
January 18, 2005
St. Louis, MO (LifeNews.com) — As the nation prepares to mark the 32nd anniversary of legal abortion in the U.S., residents of communities throughout the U.S. are joining together to remember those who have died as a result of Roe v. Wade.
In St. Louis, Archbishop Raymond Burke led a procession of nearly 400 people from St. Louis Cathedral Basilica to a local Planned Parenthood abortion facility, where 6,000 abortions were performed last year. At a Mass at the Cathedral, Burke said, "We pray for the parents who are contemplating the betrayal of their parenthood through abortion."
In Sioux City, Iowa, more than 700 people gathered for a memorial service honoring unborn children.
U.S. Representative Steve King, a Republican, was the keynote speaker. He said it was in March of 1976, when he held his first-born son David, that he realized the preciousness of human life.
"That’s when I came to the realization that every child born is a miracle," King said.
Before King’s speech, 32 adults and children walked to the stage of the Central Baptist Church auditorium-each carrying a rose with a black ribbon symbolizing the 32 years of abortion on demand.
Meanwhile, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 60 residents commemorated Roe with a rally on the steps of the local courthouse and a march to St. Peter and Paul’s Church for a prayer service. There, Father Kenneth Seegar compared the pro-life movement to the effort to abolish slavery in the 19th century. Seegar pointed out that liberating slaves was considered a radical idea at one time.
"We are branded as radicals, as conservatives, as religious fanatics. And yet statistics are showing this is a growing movement," Seegar said.
In Maine, hundreds of people gathered Saturday for an event known as the Hands Around the Capitol Memorial. Demonstrators left hundreds of red roses behind as symbols of those killed by abortion.
Organizers say 2,500 unborn children have died from abortion in Maine over the past year.
In many cases, local communities held observances over the weekend because participants plan to be in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life on January 24th. The march is being held later than usual this year because Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, falls on a weekend.