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Out of the ordinary

Maggie Oldham | Thursday, October 7, 2004

In the middle of first semester I have perfected my daily routine. I attend my morning classes, eat lunch, come back to the room and check my e-mail, then head out for an afternoon workout.On Tuesday, I chose to do some ellipticizing indoors at Angela Athletic Facility due to South Bend’s overnight summer-to-winter season change. Water bottle and CD player in hand, I bee bopped out of Le Mans and towards the library green. And then I saw it.Rows upon rows of small, white, wooden crosses decorated the usually bare green, resembling the white crosses of fallen U.S. soldiers. Some of the crosses were pulled out of the ground. Had a beautiful autumn backdrop not accompanied these crosses, this would have been the most eerily somber cemetery I have ever seen.As I approached, a sign hung between two trees hit me like a punch in the stomach. It read, “Twice the population of Saint Mary’s is killed everyday by abortion.”The little white crosses forced my gaze upon them as I continued walking down the sidewalk toward the gym. I tried unsuccessfully to tear my gaze and thoughts away. It was very unsettling to keep walking, and very disturbing. But that’s the point.It was unrealistic to banish the words flashing across my mind, words that wept for the three aborted babies represented by each cross.Props to the ND Right to Life Club for their efforts in abortion awareness. If your intent was to hit individuals like myself with a ton of bricks in the stomach and to open our eyes to the statistical realities of abortion, you did a damn good job. I can honestly say that a club banner has never had as much impact on me as those crosses did on Tuesday.But, the question is, after the crosses have been removed from the green, will that scene still bear weight on my soul? And the honest answer is, probably not. But it should, and the answer to abortion laws in the United States will never be found until the scene of the somber little crosses stays on our minds every single day.We can take the easy route and convince ourselves that abortion laws are out of our control, an issue handled by our political leaders. We can pause and reflect and for a moment see ourselves rallying to change these statistics, but then continue on our way hoping that someday someone else will be able to do this.That is the wrong attitude to have.We are the future leaders of this country but we don’t have to wait until we are sitting in an oval office for our voices to be heard. If any issue is going to be challenged, our voices have to be persistent. Awareness of issues cannot be limited to one forum, one rally, one week. Our voices can be strong if we exercise our right to use them. Like the little white crosses and the babies who lay beneath, I believe that our voices and actions founded by our passion for humanity, justice, and all that is good will change the world if we have persistence.