On Saturday, September 13, thousands of pro-lifers gathered at 132 locations throughout the United States for the second annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. Among these sites were 41 graves where the remains of aborted children are buried.
Over 28,000 aborted babies have been given a proper burial at these sites, but they represent only a fraction of the more than 56 million children aborted since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decision.
Guest speakers at these solemn memorial services included pro-life activists who had rescued abortion victim’s bodies from garbage dumpsters and pathology labs, women and men who regret choosing abortion, and ten Roman Catholic bishops.
Bishops Offer Clear Teaching at Memorial Services Nationwide
Speaking at a memorial service at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, where 2,033 aborted babies were buried in 1988, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, declared, “Justifying abortion as the foundation of women’s equality or as a solution to societal or personal problems does a great disservice to women and to our society.”
The Cardinal continued, “When one person dies, or is killed, or is brutally murdered we all suffer, we’re all lost.”
Speaking at a gravesite of 23 aborted babies in Southfield, Michigan, Bishop Michael Byrnes used the opportunity to call on men to accept their responsibility in caring for their children so that their mothers do not feel driven to choose abortion.
He observed, “Children are dependent and so in need of our protection, but today, children are treated like commodities! Jesus was standing in the place of the patriarchs: the fathers who blessed the sons. But Jesus blessed all of the children and claimed them as his own so that they might have a heritage.”
Bishop Byrnes went on to say, “The whole pro-life movement is a challenge to fathers! … Fatherhood is a holy act. Fathers must claim their children!”
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, Bishop Francis Malooly of the Diocese of Wilmington, and Bishop Robert McManus of the Diocese of Worcester also spoke at memorial services held in their respective dioceses.
Day of Remembrance Helps Post-Abortive Women Find Healing
Women who have had abortions were among the speakers at numerous services held nationwide. For some of these women, the National Day of Remembrance was the first time they had ever spoken publicly about their experiences.
At a memorial service held at St. Peter’s Church in Henderson, Nevada, a woman attending the service asked for the opportunity to speak, and she proceeded to give her personal testimony about an abortion she had in Spain 58 years ago and of the pain and sorrow she has carried with her all these years until just recently when she went on a retreat with the post-abortion ministry Rachel’s Vineyard.
Services Large and Small Offer Moving Experiences for Mourners
Several memorial services held nationwide drew crowds in the hundreds, including services in Naples, Orlando, and Kissimmee, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Cromwell, Connecticut; Hillside, Romeoville, and Evergreen Park, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Other locations, however, had services that were smaller and simpler. One such example of the latter was the Tomb of the Unborn, a gravesite of aborted babies located in Catskill, New York.
Barbara Segreto, a local resident who had just learned of the National Day of Remembrance last Thursday—two days before it was to be held—vowed to visit the gravesite at 1:00p.m. on Saturday, knowing full well that she would likely be the only person there. She made good on her promise, and at 1:00p.m., when she arrived at the gravesite, she was indeed the only mourner there, and it was pouring rain.
Not to be deterred, Barbara held a private memorial service, complete with some of the prayers listed on the prayers listed on the National Day of Remembrance website, readings from the Old and New Testaments, music (including Amazing Grace and selections from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem), and placing of flowers on the burial site.
Afterward, Barbara noted, “It was a time of serene reflection for me and very meaningful. It also put me in touch with the loneliness, the desolation that is the landscape of the unwanted, uncared for and abandoned.”
Dozens of stories chronicling the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted have appeared thus far in news media across the country. Perhaps the best story that has appeared thus far is one that aired on the local ABC-TV affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, which can be viewed at the top of this article.
About the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children
The National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is a joint project of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life, and the Pro-Life Action League. The first National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children was held in September of last year, and the event will be continue to be observed annually on the second Saturday of September.