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Heavy overnight rain finally tapered off just as Washington’s annual March for Life began on January 22, 2010. Thousands of members of the Knights of Columbus, young and old alike, were among those who listened to speakers at a rally preceding the march on the Mall. Supreme Secretary Donald Kehoe led everyone in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and provided exciting news about a new Knights of Columbus/Marist College Opinion Poll:
I want to thank everyone who is here. Year after year, in season and out of season, we will keep marching on Washington until we get the change this country really needs. And the thing we need to change is the culture. We must build a culture of life, where every life - born and unborn - is respected and protected, and where women faced with difficult situations know that they are not alone, and that they will get the help they deserve.
A Knights of Columbus/Marist College Poll released today confirms what we have long known. It found that 56% of Americans, a clear majority, consider abortion “morally wrong.” Just 25% think abortion is not a moral issue, and only 19% - less than 2 out of 10 people - consider abortion “morally acceptable.” Increasingly, Americans, especially young Americans - 59% of those 18-29 years old - know that we need change when it comes to abortion, and we will not stop marching until Roe v. Wade is changed, once and for all.
The nearly 1.8 million Knights of Columbus, many thousands of whom are here today, are proud to choose life. And since the Knights of Columbus led the campaign to have Congress add the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, it is my honor to invite you to join me as we recite it together.
Although many of the marchers came from states along the Atlantic coast, Knights from throughout the Midwest were also well represented. The Indiana state council organized a group of more than 200 Knights and family members for this year’s march, and Ohio, Michigan and other Midwestern states were represented as well.
According to the Washington Examiner newspaper, unofficial estimates of the size of the crowd at the March ranged from 250,000 to 400,000 and perhaps the largest crowd ever. The West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco drew an estimated 40,000 participants, who braved a hard, steady rain to publicly witness to their opposition to abortion.