Although Kansas City serves as a rich, diverse haven for publicly accessible and interesting events, it is not the only city that does so. Among other cities that are hosts for such events, there is Washington D.C., home to a massive, free event that was open to the public: the annual March for Life. There were numerous extraordinary, iconic, and nationally-recognized speakers, among them, a former NFL player, the Speaker of the House, the Vice President, and the President of the United States himself. Among its many aspects, the March was a gathering of activists where people could come and contemplate the messages of the speakers.
Among the many notable presenters was Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Launching into his speech with enthusiasm, Ryan at once began to express his happiness with Trump’s anti-abortion stance, and also extolled the pro-life movement for its rising vigor and numbers. After briefly, but with great emphasis, mentioning how science and love were on the side of the pro-lifers, the Speaker, beaming, began to list Congressional efforts to combat abortion. He brought up policies such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as well as efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Ryan also said that the participants in the March must conduct pro-life action “without judgement in our hearts,” a deeply moving and valuable statement. He concluded the speech by thanking the crowd and offering words of encouragement, as well as reminding those present to come back again and “bring three friends.”
Though several political figures were present, politicians were not the only ones that spoke. Matt Birk, former player for the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens, was also in attendance. Birk, like Paul Ryan, mentioned that the pro-lifers should not bear enmity towards pro-choicers because “the war is… against the evil of abortion.” He also said that, when defending life, one should “talk to… heart.” Birk stated that abortion would “prevent you from experiencing the fullness of joy that God has for your life.” As he spoke the crowd stood silent, captivated by the beauty and eloquence of his words.
To say that President Trump and Vice President Pence were actually at the March would be, in Trump’s words, “fake news.” However, they definitely were speakers at the event, addressing the crowd by video from the White House Rose Garden and appearing on the jumbotron to general applause.
Pence’s oration was relatively short. He mainly spent his time introducing Trump. The President, however, gave a speech lasting nearly ten minutes, enhanced with his characteristic hand gestures. He spent time discussing the problem of abortion, declared that the country was doing well (and was met with scattered shouts of support), and cited numerous facts to show his administration’s pro-life stance. For example, he said that he reinstated the Mexico City Policy (a policy from President Reagan that prevents U.S. federal funds from going to NGOs (non-government-organizations) that carry out and/or support abortion). In fact, this was one of the reasons that Vice President Pence, the day before the March for Life, declared Trump to be “the most pro-life president in American history.” Trump also said that he “signed an executive order to protect religious liberty” on the National Day of Prayer and “strongly supported the House of Representatives’ pain-capable bill, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.”
The March for Life is unique among public events that the Man About Town attends. Although it did contain several excellent speeches by remarkable people, it also served as a mass statement of agreement with the speeches’ pro-life message. Even for those whose beliefs are not congruent with the beliefs of such a gathering, it is still good to attend such assemblies in order to get a better sense of the many perspectives of mankind, all while mentally examining fine oratory deliveries by some of the world’s most extraordinary people.