CHICAGO - In the walls of the earliest Christian catacombs outside Rome, Italy are countless small tombs, only a foot or two across. These gravesites mark the burial places of infants that were commonly cast out of their pagan homes and left to die of starvation and exposure. With care and grief, the early Christians buried the innocent victims' bodies and mourned their loss in a time of prayer.
On Saturday, September 13, 21st Century Christians will memorialize the innocents that have died due to legalized abortion in America with the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Chldren. Mourners across America will visit the gravesites of aborted children whose broken bodies were recovered over the last 40 years from trash dumpsters and pathology labs.
The memorial service will be held at several sites throughout Illinois, including the gravesite of 2000 babies at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. His Eminence Francis Cardinal George will officiate the memorial starting at 2:00 PM.
Another service will be held at the Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville, Illinois at 1:00 PM, and another at the St. Mary Cemetery in Evergreen Park at 2:00 PM. In addition to the above burial sites in Illinois, also see the list of other memorial sites in Illinois dedicated to the memory of aborted children.
Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of Chicago-based Pro-life Action League, stated, "It's sobering to realize that grave markers for the unborn victims of abortion list only a date of burial. They have no birthdays because they were never allowed to be born. We can list no date of death, because those who killed them discarded their bodies like garbage. But they are not garbage to us. They are our brothers and sisters. That's why we buried them, and that's why we visit their graves to mourn for them and testify to their humanity."
Monica Miller, Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society, added, "Since 1973, 55 million innocent unborn children have been killed with the sanction of law. A fraction of these victims of the American slaughter have actually been buried. The graves of these victims are scattered across America - graves of sorrow and graves of indictment on a nation that permitted the killing of the innocent. As we visit these graves on September 13, we call upon our nation to remember these victims and bring an end to the injustice of abortion."
"Abortion is not an abstract issue," explained Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. "Having a memorial service where these babies are buried reminds us that abortion is not merely about beliefs, but about bloodshed; not just about viewpoints, but victims. By visiting the graves of the aborted unborn, we allow our hearts to be broken for them, and we recommit ourselves to protecting other children from suffering the same fate."
The first National Day of Remembrance was held September 2013 on the 25th anniversary of the solemn burial of several hundred abortion victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prayer services were held at over 100 locations, with thousands of mourners participating. Response was so great that the National Day of Remembrance has been established as an annual event, to be held on the second Saturday each September. More information at Abortion Memorials.