Millions of innocent lives have been taken by abortion, but although they are gone, they will never be forgotten.
Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League will be joining forces in September to co-sponsor the second annual National Day of Remembrance for the unborn Sept. 13. Organizers say the Day of Remembrance was established to help foster a deeper awareness of the tragic effects and reality of abortion.
On this day, pro-life Americans are called upon to visit one of the many burial and dedication sites erected to commemorate the lives of aborted babies. Participants are asked to honor the life of every unborn child through acts of prayer, penance and public witness to the sanctity of life.
According to Don Kosis, a parishioner at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Chandler and the coordinator for the Day of Remembrance event in Arizona, Sept.13 was chosen for a specific reason.
“In 1988, a group in Milwaukee, Wis. happened to find the bodies and parts of several hundred babies, in boxes and containers outside an abortion clinic,” Kosis said. “They took them, made a cemetery there and buried them. We’re honoring that particular event.” During the 26-year period following the initial founding of the burial site in Wisconsin, thousands of these abortion victims have been retrieved and buried at memorial sites throughout the country.
The National Day of Remembrance begins with a 10 a.m. Mass followed by presentations by well-known speakers at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe. “We have a memorial for the unborn at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is why we’re basically working there,” Kosis said.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will preside at the Mass, and Kosis hopes the faithful will stay for what he called “three very, very dynamic speakers.”
The lead speaker at the program will be Dorinda Bordlee, vice president and senior counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund. Bordlee has defended a variety of life issues in several federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
“Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and John Paul II all taught us the power of speaking the truth in love about the dehumanizing practices of their day,” Bordlee told The Catholic Sun. “This Day of Remembrance is very important to raise awareness that in addition to taking the life of a unique and unrepeatable human child, legalized abortion has facilitated the sexual exploitation of women and has enabled men to avoid the love and responsibility that gives meaning to their lives.”
Other keynote speakers at the Day of Remembrance will include Nikolas Nikas, President, CEO and general counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund, and Jason Walsh, executive director of Arizona Right to Life.
Jason Walsh said he believes it is crucial for members of the pro-life community to attend the event.
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for people of like mind to meet and to have a solemn time of remembrance for the lives that have been lost, just as they would for any other memorial,” Walsh said. “We can’t go through this alone — we have to be able to build each other up and receive encouragement from one another.”
Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U.S., more than 57 million babies have been aborted. Kosis said his involvement in the pro-life movement has caused him to reflect often upon what would have happened had those children been allowed to live.
“Would some of them have become doctors, scientists, priests? Who knows what they would’ve become and what they could’ve done for the world,” Kosis said. “Unfortunately, we never gave them the opportunity.”
Although the consequences of abortion have been devastating, Jason Walsh said that pro-life advocates should never lose faith.
“If you look at history, equal rights and the equal humanity of all members of the human community, it always wins out,” Walsh said. “God’s reality can’t be denied forever.”