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Archives Teen: Attending March is ‘life-changing’

Jan. 30, 2019

By Darcy Fargo

Washington, DC – Though weather cut their trip short, at least one diocesan teen who participated in the YouthMarch for life Buses for Life said the trip was still a great experience.

“It’s not the first time our trip was shortened by weather,” said James Burke, 17, of Ticonderoga. “We were exhausted from the March. We didn’t mind missing the sightseeing.”

Burke said this was his third year participating in the Youth Buses for Life. This year, two bus loads of teens and chaperones made the trek from spots around the diocese to the nation’s capital to participate in the annual March for life.

“The first two years, I had friends go with me,” he said. “I went by myself this year, but once you’ve done it, you get to where you know all the people. So, I knew most of the people who went.”

Burke said his favorite part of the March was hearing the speakers who presented to the gathered crowd, estimated at over 100,000 strong.

“The speakers were amazing,” he said. “One of the speakers, I don’t remember her name, but she was a Democrat, did a good job talking about how she puts her faith before politics and believes they should end abortion. I thought she did a very good job.

“And seeing Ben Shapiro was a dream come true. I totally forgot he was going to be there. It was cool seeing a big celebrity there.”

Burke noted he’s a fan of Shapiro, a political commentator, writer and lawyer.

The Ticonderoga High School senior said he interviewed other March participants as part of a project he’s completing for his school.

“I interviewed 16 people – mostly from our diocese, but I also talked to a few random people from DC,” Burke said. “Everyone talked about how much fun they had, how much they enjoyed the March, and how cool it was to just sit around and talk with the priests who came with us.”

Burke, who is considering Americorps for next year, March for lifesaid he’s thrilled to see youth getting involved in politics in general and the pro-life movement specifically.

“You see the bigger world,” he said. “You see how you can be part of it. It’s a great thing. It shows how we can be involved, too.”

The teen said he knows his pro-life stance is not always popular with his contemporaries, but that doesn’t bother him.

“This is what we march for: we all march to end abortion and end laws like what New York just passed,” he said. “We need to keep getting more people and spreading the message. I love how the March seems to get bigger every year, and it’s almost all young faces. We need that.”

He encouraged any youth who is even remotely considering attending next year’s event to take the leap.

“It’s life-changing,” he said. “If you’ve never been there, and you have any desire at all, go. It’s eye opening. My first year, I thought it was going to be a bust. I had the best time ever. Even though I’m hoping to do Americorps next year, I’m still hoping to do the March.”

March for life

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