It was a crystal clear, cold day in the District. We were dropped off by our bus driver near the front of the Capitol Building, and walked around to the rear of the building to the below-grade entrance to the Capitol Visitor's Center where we were scheduled to meet our Congressional Representatives and Senators to speak with them about the importance of defending life in its most vulnerable stage. After going through security, we were escorted to the credentials desk where we picked up our visitor badges, specifying the date on which we had access to our elected representatives and to which room we were authorized to go to meet with them
As we entered the meeting room, I was practically pounced upon by Congressman Nick Rahall, WV-3 - I'm not his constituent (I don't think anyone from his district was with our group; he represents the southern part of the state). He shook my hand enthusiastically and told me he was glad to see me. Then I shook hands with Senator Joe Manchin, who was elected in November to fill the seat vacated by Senator Byrd's passing. He's quite a handsome man. As we took our seats I was pleased to see my Congressman, David McKinley, enter the room and begin making his way over to greet us. When he got to where the kids and I were sitting, he spoke to my children and then stuck his hand out to shake mine, did a wee double take as he recognized me, and then gave me a big hug as he said "wonderful to see you here!" as he called me by name. Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito, from the second district, sent one of her staff members to talk with us, as did Senator Rockefeller. Evidently the staff drone from Sen. Rockefeller's office is a familiar face; she basically told us that her boss disagreed with our views and that was just tough cookies. The folks in our group who have made this journey before told me that Sen. Rockefeller never comes to meet the marchers from West Virginia, and that this same staff worker comes every year and says the same thing.
|Senator Manchin greets Congressman Rahall|
|Congressman McKinley addresses the Marchers from West Virginia|
|Senator Manchin speaks to our group|
|NRLC President Wanda Franz addresses the WV March for Life group|
After our meeting we left the Capitol and walked down the Mall to where the March would begin; we staked out a spot near the corner. I briefly thought about trying to go up closer to the stage so we could hear the speakers at the rally, but the crowd was impassable! At intervals I stuck my camera up over my head and took photos in all directions so maybe you can get a feel for the size of the crowd. I've never seen so many people packed together shoulder-to-shoulder in one spot in my life.
A few bloggers mentioned that there were some pro-abortion people at the Supreme Court building, but along the route of the March we didn't see any at all. I did see: many, many young people, priests in clericals and cassocks, groups in matching scarves, hats, sweatshirts and earwarmers. Babies in strollers and elderly people with canes. A group of Hispanic teens with musical instruments playing music and dancing before the march began. A very large group of men and women......the men carried signs that read "I Regret Lost Fatherhood" and the women's signs read "I Regret My Abortion." Groups from the following states: California, Louisiana, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia.
|Shortly after noon; the crowd is growing.|
|About 10 minutes after I took this photo you could no longer see the other side of the street for all the people.|
|A friend who came from college in Ohio with friends; cell phones are awesome for impromptu meetups in large crowds!|
|One of my good friends and fellow pro-life whackos!|
|That's me on the right. :)|