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Storm can't stop NH's March for Life in D.C.

By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM
New Hampshire Sunday News

January 23. 2016 7:33PM


Six busloads of parishioners from across the Diocese of Manchester didn't let a massive snowstorm get in the way of their trip to Washington, D.C., for the national March for Life.

Valerie Somers of Nashua is a volunteer coordinator for the annual pilgrimage. She said the New Hampshire group of about 250 was lucky to get out of D.C. ahead of the worsening storm Friday.

But she said, “Some of us have friends on the buses (stuck) on the Pennsylvania Turnpike so we're still praying for them.”

Her own parents, who live in Ohio, spent more than 12 hours on the turnpike before finding a hotel, she said. “They almost ran out of gas, but the National Guard came and got them some gas.”

Guardsmen also were delivering pizza to the stuck buses, Somers said.

Tiffany Peterson of Bedford organized the trip for a group of 83 adults and teens from Holy Family Academy and St. Marie parish in Manchester. She and her husband David made the trip with the three youngest of their seven children.

And while it started to snow just as Friday's march got under way, Peterson said it didn't faze the group.

“It was cold but it was not the worst cold we've ever had,” she said. “We're from New Hampshire after all, and we came prepared.”

Besides, their motto is “We are pilgrims, not tourists,” she said.

The snow was picking up as the march ended, and the group took a Metro train out of the city to meet their buses in Maryland.

The last New Hampshire travelers, a group from Woodsville, got home at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Somers said.

Cecilia Peterson, 16, is a sophomore at Holy Family Academy. It's her fourth trip to the March for Life.

“The sense of community that we all had on the bus was incredible,” she said.

Why does go to the march every year? “I go because I think that every life is very important and God created each person individually, and that life should not be taken away from them,” she said.

It can make a difference, she said. “People see the March for Life and hundreds of thousands of people that go and they see that people are so passionate about it,” she said. “I think it changes some people's minds and their hearts.”

swickham@unionleader.com


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