Portsmouth Abbey School students, along with our 2018 Manquehue visitors, attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., from January 19-20. Portsmouth Abbey Spiritual Life Associate and Christian Doctrine teacher John Huynh organized the trip and served as faculty advisor, along with Mr. Don Cowan and Mrs. Mariana Cowan. The group took in the sights of our nation's capital and went to a concert on Friday night before the March on Saturday. "I am thankful that the teachers, administration, coaches, and houseparents at Portsmouth Abbey School are supportive of our students attending a peaceful pro-life march at our nation's capital," says John. "Furthermore, I am grateful that students are willing to take on the workload, travel time, and many sacrifices – seen and unseen – that make their participation possible."
Students who attended the event shared their impressions about the trip and how it affected their lives and outlook. Felicity Taylor '18, after some initial doubts, shared an experience that confirmed her choice in attending the march: "Sitting at the Life Is Very Good conference on Thursday night, my mind wandered to a talk I had heard while working the Portsmouth Institute this summer. The speaker talked about how it is illegal in the United States to harm a bald eagle, and now the same punishment is given for harming a bald eagle egg. As I thought about this clear analogy to abortion, I looked up and realized that I was sitting in the Eagle Bank Arena. Immediately, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be, supporting the pro-life stance and fighting for change with the hundreds of thousands of others there."
Annie St. George '20 described the powerful feelings she had at the march itself: "I have never before in my life felt a greater sense of unity and togetherness than when I joined those tens of thousands of people on the National Mall to worship, to rally, and to celebrate the beauty of human life. It is truly amazing that this worthy cause could extend to so many people, young and old."
As for Mr. Huynh, he is grateful for another opportunity to continue witnessing Abbey students participate in this experience. "The March for Life is one of those life experiences for which words cannot do it justice; you have to be there in the midst of the gigantic crowd to witness firsthand the solidarity, peace, and joy that emanate from this nonviolent protest," he says. "What a tremendous learning opportunity for our students to participate in this human rights demonstration! My hope is that our students will bring back to our campus a renewed energy to devote to protecting the vulnerable...and to dialogue with their peers."