WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands gathered for the annual March for Life Friday, an event many regarded as especially meaningful since it was the first time a sitting U.S. President addressed the crowd via video livestream from the White House rose garden.
Previous pro-life presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush addressed the march by phone. Last year, Vice President Mike Pence spoke on the main stage at the march.
Many endearing moments were seen as people from all walks of life, including a huge number of young people and Roman Catholics, enjoyed warmer than usual temperatures at this year's march.
Here are four memorable moments The Christian Post observed at the March for Life 2018.
Unusually Balmy Temperatures
March for Life participants are accustomed to freezing temperatures, harsh winds, and icy precipitation as the event is always held close to the Jan. 22 anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in all 50 states.
Yet Friday's weather was nothing short of balmy for January with the sun beating down on marchers who came from all over the country for the annual pro-life gathering. According to multiple sources, the high temperature was in the low to mid-50s with nary a cloud in sight.
Mario and Donna Loomis, from Orange Country, New York, said they have been coming to the March for Life for 15 years.
"I feel a great energy, a great hope for the future," Donna told CP in an interview moments before the main event began on the National Mall, observing how "youthful" the march is.
Marion advises the next generation of pro-life leaders "to always have the priority that being pro-life is about being pro-people no matter what you do," that "the value for the person has to come first."
"Whether it involves destroying human embryos, euthanizing elderly or handicap people, we have to a have a pro-life approach to all people," he stressed.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's 4-Year-Old Daughter Waves to the Crowd, Says 'Thank You'
Throughout her mother's remarks to the crowd at the March for Life, 4-year-old Abigail Beutler, daughter of congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler from Washington state, endearingly waved to the crowd and peppered her mom with questions.
Herrera Beutler shared her story of her difficult pregnancy four years ago. She said she would never forget the moment her doctor said to her: "See that, that is your [unborn child] 'practice breathing.'" She would also be told Abigail had a "zero percent chance of survival."
"[My husband] Dan and I prayed, and we cried, and we learned to contend," Herrera Beutler recounted of her pregnancy with Abigail. Doctors told her that her child would probably be born with no kidneys or suffocate to death soon after birth due a condition she had called bilateral renal agenesis. She was urged to induce labor early in order to be able to start over emotionally more quickly.
While her mom spoke, young Abigail asked: "Was I going to die?"
"No," her mom turned to her emphatically, receiving laughs from the crowd.
What if God would do a miracle, she and her husband asked themselves, and they pressed in even harder in prayer.
Today, Abigail says one day she plans on being "the boss of Mommy's work."
"Look out, Speaker Ryan," Herrera Beutler joked.
The congresswoman continued: "Today, we have come together to say, 'There's hope for every expectant mother who has been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear, or anger, or anxiety because she doesn't know how she can afford care for that child, for every woman that feels hopeless: Jesus loves you. And for every baby that has been given up on by the status quo: Jesus still does miracles."
At the conclusion of her mother's remarks, Abigail was hoisted up to the microphone and told the crowd "Thank you."
Two Bald Eagles Fly Overhead the National Mall
Moments after President Trump concluded his remarks addressing the March for Life from the White House, which was broadcast live via satellite at the National Mall, House Speaker Paul Ryan gave an enthusiastic speech to the thousands gathered there.
Shortly after he began, several in the crowd in front of the stage began pointing toward the sky. Two bald eagles had begun circling overhead.
Dominated by Catholics, an estimated 80 percent looked very young, 'huge' crowds
"One thing that has always impressed me as an Anglican is that the Catholics have been here forever. They are so faithful. They are here in huge numbers," said John Grimsley in an interview with CP as marchers proceeded to march to the Supreme Court.
This Christian Post reporter estimates that approximately 75 to 80 percent of March for Life attendees this year were younger than 30. Numerous college students, high schoolers and young children carrying "we are the Pro-Life Generation" signs were seen everywhere.
"I'm amazed at the number of kids here," Grimsley added. This year was his fourth or fifth march, and this was "by far the biggest [crowd] I've ever seen."