March for Life.

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Residents from the region take part in Friday's March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday, including Duane Hilkert, far right, of Danville, Father Timothy Marcoe, of St. Joseph Church in Danville, center in white mask, and Mia Wendt, holding sign.

Some marchers held signs that read "I am the post-Roe generation," a statement that may never have been more true than it was at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Duane Hilkert, a parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Danville, said there was a different feeling this time, despite freezing temperatures.

Even with a crowd smaller than previous years because of COVID-19, Hilkert called the atmosphere around the nation's capital, "exciting."

With the U.S. Supreme Court perhaps poised to give states more control of restricting abortion and perhaps even overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the crowd was charged up, Hilkert said. Hilkert bused down to the event with about two dozen people from Danville, Elysburg and Bloomsburg, including St. Joseph's pastor Father Timothy Marcoe.

"It was very optimistic," Hilkert said after he boarded a bus to head home Friday night, "With what is happening at the Supreme Court, everyone was very excited."

"I've been going to for 20 years, since 2002, and this one was filled with enthusiasm and optimism," Father Marcoe said. "I was surprised with COVID and the weather, how many people were there."

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller was one of several dozen Republican lawmakers to take part in the march. Keller tweeted out a video of himself at the march. The two-term congressman from Snyder County was holding a heart-shaped sign that read "Love them Both," with an image of a pregnant mother. 

"Great to be with so many pro-life Americans today at the March for Life," he said."We have a solemn duty to defend those incapable of defending themselves, the most innocent among us — the unborn. I will continue to support policies that ensure every life has the chance to realize its fullest potential."

Hilkert said he had been to the march previously, "quite a few times," he said. On Friday, he was joined by his 15-year-old son, Luke.

"To see so many youth from all over the country, Texas, Michigan, it's great to see the future invested," he said. "I loved to see all of their enthusiasm."

"The young people energized the crowd," Father Marcoe said. "One person was saying to me, 'Look around at the number of young people here, the number of families.' And it was true. It was terrific to see."

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