Thursday, January 27, 2011

Drowning Out the Haters

The March for Life was an incredible, unforgettable, scathingly brilliant, mind-blowing awesomeness of a weekend. From partying at the Russia House with Ruth and various other unexpected friends (plus a few minor celebrities, if ya know what I mean), to exploring Georgetown's beautiful campus (I liked The Midnight Mug coffee shop in the Lauinger Library much more than I liked the main campus church. Sorry, Dahlgren Chapel, you ain't got nothing on Notre Dame's Basilica), to getting cupcakes every day of the trip (well it's me, what did you expect?), I pretty much had non-stop fun. My poor sore feet will never be the same, but it was worth every minute of tramping around a frozen D.C.

The very finest moment of the trip, however, came near its very end. We had marched behind the Notre Dame banner all the way up the National Mall to the Supreme Court building, where we stopped to take a group picture of the 380 students in attendance. Squashing together in front of that beautiful "Irish Fightin' for Life" banner, we plastered smiles on our faces for the photographer's flash.

That was when Randall T. showed up, appearing out of nowhere with a microphone and a bad attitude. For those of you with short memories, or who were blessed to be ignorant of this event, he's the guy who hired a plane to fly photos of an aborted baby over the Notre Dame campus for months before Obama gave the 2009 Commencement speech. Needless to say, he is not a popular figure on campus. When he appeared at the March, he was quick to show his true colors, as he began yelling rude things at the smiling Notre Dame group. "I know some of you are innocent," he bleated, "but for the rest, shame on you!" Then he started yelling about how we should impeach Father Jenkins, or throw him into prison. Mind you that Father Jenkins is the man who founded the University Pro-Life Initiatives Office and who actually walked beside me on Monday's Right to Life March (although he was no longer with the Notre Dame group when Randall showed up, thank God). As I listened to Randall heap abuse on my school and our president, my face showed a smile but inside I was seething. How dare he stand before us and insult our school like that. I grew angrier with every word, and just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore but would have to yell back or get the heck out of there, I heard a voice singing at the back of our group.

"Rally sons of Notre Dame!" the voice yelled out, and four hundred voices took up the cry. We sang out with all we could muster: "SING HER GLORY AND SOUND HER FAME!"

Together we sang the entire Fight Song, every verse and every word, singing it at the top of our lungs until Randall gave up and went away, drowned out by the unquenchable spirit of the Fighting Irish. The message was clear: we are not going to start a fight with you but we are not going to take your crap. Nobody stands in front of us, hundreds strong, and insults our university and our president. We are Notre Dame. We stand with Father Jenkins, who stands for life. We stand with Our Lady. We stand up for the unborn. We are proud to do that, and we refuse to listen to you and your pathetic nonsense. It was one of my proudest moments as a Notre Dame student and one I'll never forget.

So this goes out to every Notre Dame student who was at the March, or who wasn't there but who is proud of Father Jenkins, proud to be a Notre Dame student. It's been two years since the Obama controversy and I believe that we've put division behind us. Whatever our political leanings or personal beliefs, we can stand together when outsiders try to bring us down, and we can drown out the haters with the sheer power of the Notre Dame spirit. There is a magic in the sound of OUR name. We are proud to be The Irish of Notre Dame.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm not a Notre Dame grad but I am proud of the fact that there are young adults who are able to stand strong of in the face of verbal attacks and who realize that civility in discourse is the way to work out differences in ideology, politics, and a host of other of other differences! Congratulations!