On the solemn occasion of the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade, 44 pro-life warriors got on a bus at 8:00am Thursday, January 18th in Arnold, Missouri to make the pilgrimage to Washington DC for the March for Life.
The agenda was the same as every other year—drive through the day and night, arriving in DC at 7:00am. Get off the bus for 12 hours and do March activities. Get back on the bus at 7:00pm and go home.
The devil had other ideas. He doesn’t like us or the March.
We were having a great time on the ride up, sharing stories, getting to know new people and generally having fun. Then the bus broke down. We were in Spiceland, Indiana. No big deal, a mechanic came out and after an hour and a half got it fixed and we were on our way. This meant we might miss Mass the next morning, but maybe we could make up the time.
After a fitful night of “sleeping” the bus broke down again. It was 4:00am and we were in Hagerstown Maryland. This time the mechanics could not fix the bus. It took them until noon—yes 8 hours—to determine we needed a new bus. A new bus came and we were on our way. We already missed Mass and now we were going to miss the “Big Meeting” with our Congressmen and Senator. RATS!
With only 30 miles left to DC, our new bus started spewing white smoke and broke down. I’m not kidding. We pulled over to the left lane on Highway 270 with the rear of the bus jutting out into traffic. We moved all the kids who were in the rear of the bus to the front of the bus in case we got slammed into by a semi. The police came and got us over to the right shoulder. It was a little scary. After about an hour another new bus came and picked us up. Now we were going to be late for the March.
The new, new bus dropped us off by the Smithsonian and we ran down to join the March—with no way to find our Missouri Right to Life people in the 500 thousand people mass of humanity. When we caught up with the March we walked right up and the Missouri Right to Life banner was right in front of us. Take that devil!
The March was great and we got back on the bus at 7:00pm. The bus took us an hour in the wrong direction to the bus garage to get back on our original bus which was fixed while we marched. It wasn’t fixed. We waited 2 hours in the drivers lounge and finally were on the road at 10:00pm. We were going to be late getting home.
After a fitful night of “sleeping” we stopped for breakfast at 7:30am, 30 miles from Indianapolis. When we came out to leave, the bus broke down—I can’t make this up. We were there until noon before they could find another bus.
They finally found a bus—number 5—and we got on Highway 70 for the last 4 hours to St. Louis. After 4 minutes the bus broke down. Really? Really?
The driver said she lost all power and could barley get the bus over to the right shoulder at an exit. We were in that little triangle between the highway and the exit ramp. Trucks zooming by on either side made the bus rock like crazy. It was dangerous. We called the police to help us. They never came.
After another hour and a half, a new, new, new bus came and we cautiously got all of our gear out of the stalled bus on to the new, new, new bus and went home.
Incredibly, those 44 pro-life warriors NEVER complained. Every time a bus broke down, we prayed a rosary. They remained positive, upbeat and even joyful. What a blessing to be around people like that.
We’re all flying next year.
–Steve Rupp, President, Missouri Right to Life