Photo Credit: Life Site NewsThe 42nd annual March for Life kicked off Thursday with an hour-long rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists gathered beneath sunny skies and surprisingly warm temperatures to hear speeches from pro-life politicians and prominent movement leaders.
The rally opened with a benediction from Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, KY, who was flanked by both Catholic and Orthodox clerics as he led the crowd in prayer and asked God’s blessing on the March.
After the benediction, March for Life Chairman Patrick Kelly took the podium to welcome the marchers, taking special notice of their overwhelming youth. “When I look out on this enormous crowd, I see a tide turning in America,” Kelly said. “The March for Life is getting bigger and younger every year.”
“History is on our side,” said Kelly, “because history is always on the side of those who fight for human dignity and human life.” He said that after four decades, the March for Life “has become the largest human rights march in the world.”
March for Life President Jeanne Monahan Mancini elicited happy cheers from the crowd as she took the stage and asked, “What do y’all think about this weather?” Thursday’s mild conditions stood in marked contrast to the weather during last year’s march, which took place in near-zero temperatures with biting winds, putting marchers at risk of frostbite and causing electronics to fail due to the extreme cold. (Read more about the largest march for life in the world HERE)