WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dozens of future U.S. Army and Navy officers braved freezing temperatures, ice, wind, and snow in the Nation’s Capital on Friday to walk in the 51st annual March for Life—the second in a post-Roe America—along the National Mall. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), led the group of 40 cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, and 36 midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, among others.
The marchers included staff and clergy of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), including the Rev. Monsignor Anthony R. Frontiero, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia; Father Mark Rutherford, J.C.L., Judicial Vicar; and Father Curtiss P. Dwyer, LCDR, CHC, USN, 2nd Battalion Chaplain at the U.S. Naval Academy. The AMS delegation joined the march on Constitution Avenue near the National Archives where they traveled by public transportation after a noon Mass in the main chapel of the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center, the AMS headquarters in Northeast Washington.
In his homily Archbishop Broglio reflected on the day’s readings, the first of which was 1 Samuel 24:3-21 wherein David declines the opportunity to kill King Saul:
“Today as we walk in testimony to the dignity of the human person, especially of the unborn, let us remember David's example of respect. We must raise our voices and ensure the rights and the dignity of the defenseless. We must be the voice of the voiceless. But we do so with respect.
“There are always those with other points of view, and in dialogue we must never forget that they are also created in the image and likeness of God. They too have a dignity. Sometimes in the midst of the shouting there is a tendency to forget that fact and identify the error with the person who is mistaken. Remember that Jesus calls sinners to repentance. He calls each one of us to be the best we can be. But He also ate with the sinners and He eats with us….
“I firmly believe that the violence in our society, the criminality, the mass shootings, and the inability to sustain civil discourse can find a root cause in the disrespect for the unborn. If the defenseless child in her mother's womb can be snuffed out, then why not someone else who blocks my way. Or has what I want....”
His Excellency noted, “My first participation in a March for Life was in 1978 as a recently-ordained priest. It was also in the snow,” drawing chuckles from the congregation. He added, “We should not be daunted. We renew our commitment to insert this notion of respect for the other in everything that we do.”
Tens of thousands of pro-lifers from around the country took part in the peaceful procession on the one-mile route from near the Washington Monument to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Justices in June 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) with their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ending a “constitutional right” to abortion in America. The theme of this year’s March for Life was “With every woman, for every child,” focusing on the need to care for both mother and child during the nine months of pregnancy and in the years after. Speakers included U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who told marchers he was born as the result of a surprise pregnancy when his parents were teenagers; Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Focus on the Family President and CEO Jim Daly, and former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson.