Sunday, October 7, 2007

My First Pro-Life Picket

"Praise to God for His salvation and Judgment. Praise
the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise
in the assembly of saints." -- Psalm 149:1

Stand Up For Life was held for the first time in Eastern Long Island, in Manorville, while our Nassau County counterparts rallied at the more established route in Huntington. Over 100 men, women, and children (about a dozen) were present. Most held signs with a picture of a mother and baby that read “LOVE THEM BOTH”; some held the same sign in Spanish; and others held signs that said “Abortion Kills Children”.

My daughters and I were the first to set up on a grassy corner. Thinking nervously of my car accident last year, I made sure we were up on a knoll, about six feet higher than the street level. I was joined by a lovely woman, who told me she was number eleven of twelve children. “I was the same age as your daughters when my mom first started taking us to these things. It really stuck to me.”

A car slowed down as a woman in the passenger seat rolled down her window to say loudly, “I’m on my way to get an abortion, right now!” I’m sure she was trying to rile us up, but what bothered me was that she had a young girl in her back seat. My daughters were standing several feet back and did not hear her. I burst into tears. “This is my first time doing something like this,” I explained after the lady had driven away. I hoped we were not in for more of the same – thankfully, we were not.

The other lady’s nieces and nephews soon showed up, and they moved to the other side of the street. Three other families from my children’s school joined us. My daughters were heartened and held their signs up high.

My dear friend and esteemed fellow blogger Leticia Velasquez joined us with her teenage daughter. They had just come from the Latin Mass, she said. She boldly stepped up to the street and held up her sign. She counted the friendly beeps. “I think it’s about ten to one in favor,” she guessed. Some bikers passed by with a thumbs up. A few held out a different finger but, perhaps in deference to the children present, held their tongues. Whenever a woman passed by with a sad or angry look, she said a Hail Mary for them. She spoke of the looks on young women’s faces as they came out of the abortion clinics.

I pray for the angels who are able to stand vigil at such places. I think it must take nerves of steel. Having been gracefully protected from any great evil or suffering in my life, first under the wings of my parents and then those of my husband, it is very difficult for me to see it in others.

A police officer stopped by briefly. “I have no problem what you’re doing here,” he said, “Just make sure to keep out of the street and not traffic.” He continued on his way.

Before long, it was 3:30, the established time to leave. The woman who had first stood next to me came to make sure I was doing okay, after my original emotional outburst. Leticia didn’t seem to want to leave her post, but we dragged her away.

"Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all
the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name. Proclaim
the good news of His salvation from day to day." --
Psalm 96:1-2.

Above: Adoration Of The Magi (central panel of the altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Cologne) Oil on canvas, 1435-1440


Michelle said...

thank you for standing up for the children. I am SO proud of you.

Alice Gunther said...

Great story, Elizabeth!!! And I can just imagine Leticia so well!

It is a great thing to do with the children. My girls were very impressed today in Huntington!

Leticia said...

You make me sound like such a hero, Elizabeth and Alice, I hardly recognize myself! Thank you.