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Youth participate in pro-life march

By KBell
Jan. 27, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 26, 2011 at 7:27 p.m.

Wade Perry, 18, a senior at St. Joseph High School, waits for the Candlelight March for Life to begin at Our Lady of Victory Cathedral.  This year, many high schoolers have come out to participate in the annual march, which is sponsored by Life and Family Advocates, a local pro-life organization.

A group of teenagers huddled in front of Our Lady of Victory Cathedral Thursday night, holding homemade torches made of candles inside plastic jugs.

The youngsters' torches were constructed by the old-timers across the parking lot, who had participated in the Candlelight March for Life often enough to know what kind of apparatus would survive a one-mile walk through Victoria.

Paul Tasin, 74, said Victorians have been participating in the pro-life march for the last 30 years, each around the time the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade.

"A lot of youth have joined since then," said Tasin, who helps organize the event each year. "More and more young people are realizing they're the survivors."

Another long-time participant, Charles Bluntzer, said he thinks more exposure to the issue of abortion has also contributed to a larger youth participation.

"The more educated people become, the more familiar they become with the science of it," he said. "The more it's taught in classes would help, too."

Indeed, many of the teenagers gathered said they were inspired to come after their theology class at St. Joseph High School.

"I made the decision to forego homework tonight," 18-year-old Wade Perry said. "This is part of what we're supposed to be doing."

Perry's classmate, Brianna Shimek, agreed the things she's learned in class inspired her to come to the march. The St. Joseph theology teacher is not only her teacher in class, but her teacher out of class; it's her father, Michael Shimek.

"We're walking for the unborn babies. We're walking for the children who don't have a voice," she said.

Shimek said she was proud to be among a growing crowd of young people standing up for a cause.

"I think it's a really good message to say there's young people out here," she said. "A lot of people think the morals of our generation aren't as high as they used to be, and it shows people there's young people walking for something they believe in."

At 7 p.m., perhaps appropriately, the youth led the pack of about 250 out of the parking lot. A police escort stopped traffic on Airline Road, as the group silently made their way to Fellowship Bible Church.

"When we look at the world, the problems we have, more and more you notice the problems we have are because people who can act, don't stand up and act," Perry said.



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