Students from Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy attended the annual March for Life trip in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 22, to stand up for the human dignity. The trip was the 17th for Father Jabo, president of both institutions. Students left from Prep on Thursday, Jan. 21, at around 7:45 a.m. and arrived in Washington around 3:00 p.m. the same day after making some stops on the way.
“Each trip is different; due to the city’s closing of some museums that we normally would visit, we toured around places even I had not been in before,” said Fr. Jabo.
Since the march was not until Friday, the group was able to visit several historic national sites on Thursday, includingthe National Archives, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, the World War II memorial, and the Vietnam memorial. It was a great way to get the group excited as well as educated on what makes this nation unique.
On Friday, most museums were closed due to weather warnings. Other plans were made in order to take full advantage of the time. For example, the group visited the Pope John Paul II National Shrine at the Catholic University of America, which turned out to be a great turn of events because even Father Jabo had not visited the shrine previously. All of the historic landmarks that the five Ramblers and 29 Victors visited had some correlation with human dignity. It worked according to the mastermind’s plan to make all those things relevant.
“My favorite part of the trip was visiting the museums,” said senior Joe Weibel.
The March, itself, was an amazing experience for the group. There were thousands of people marching peacefully for those who do not have a voice. There were people from anywhere possible, and many of them were school students who shared the same respect for life. The dreaded snowstorm did not faze any of those who attended. In fact, it was viewed as a sacrifice that they were giving up time and warmth away from home to stand together as one to represent their beliefs. People were enthusiastically cheering, echoing the voice of their beliefs through the streets and holding up the signs high above their heads.
“My favorite part of the trip was realizing how many people believe in same thing as you do and coming together for a good cause,” said Villa sophomore Lauren Prischak.
What seems to be the center of attention, and a source of some frustration from the group, was the daylong bus ride home. Due to the heavy, continuous snowstorm, which resulted in two to three feet. of snow, the bus got caught in a massive traffic jam on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The bus remained unmoved for a dreadful, uncomfortable, 24 hours that caused everyone to be eager to be home. The seats were not large enough for anyone to lay on, yet some people got creative and figured out a way to get some shut eye. Some were prepared; they had brought some movies to make the time go by faster. Since the Ramblers were outnumbered 29 to 5, the Victors were able to enjoy some of the best romantic movies such as The Notebook, and The Lucky One. The five, strong-willed Ramblers held their complaints to themselves and tried to sneak in few hours of sleep.
The bus had first came to a complete stop on Friday at 9:15 p.m. and did not move again until Saturday around the same time. With still another five to six hours on the road to go, everyone was very ready to go home. The March for Life group of 2016 arrived safely, but exhausted, at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday to be picked up by their anxious parents.