Monday, January 22, 2007

A day of activism in San Francisco

We left early Saturday morning to participate in the 3rd annual West Coast Walk for Life. My oldest daughter participated the first year and enjoyed her inaugural attempt at political activism. As a child of the 60’s, I tried to explain to my child of the 90’s that she might encounter some opposition to her activism, but if she truly believed in her cause then she would derive a great amount of satisfaction from having stood up for her beliefs. The only advice we could give her for the first year was to be peaceful, even when those protesting against her confronted her. While it may not be politically correct to admit it; as a family we’ve always tried to support the notion that from the moment of conception to natural death, a person’s life is a sacred gift, even in crisis, disability and suffering, that each person has inherent value and that like all rights, the fundamental right to life is the foundation for all others. We respect those who disagree with us.

This year our family was able to venture to the event. This West Coast Walk is considered the bookend March to the Washington DC event which is held annually every January. Like all Washington marches, the March for Life draws more people every year from all over the country. I wasn’t too surprise when I met a nurse and her husband who had flown in from the Virgin Islands to participate because they felt the weather here would be much better than the usual freezing weather conditions that the Washington marchers endure. She looked to be about my mother’s age and we talked about nursing students who enter the profession in the middle of their lives. She is someone I would love to stay in touch with as a mentor. I hope we become fast friends.

The day was unusually gorgeous for a winter day in San Francisco. The sun greeted us at the start of the walk and seemed to hang around to warm the 35,000 or so walkers as they made the five mile trek from Justin Herman Plaza to the Marina. It was an upbeat occasion that started off with many dynamic speakers, including speakers representing Democrats for Life, the Black Genocide, the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the Lutherans for Life and nurses for Life. There were also two exceptional speakers who represented a group called “Silent No More”, a group of post abortive women. These women were incredible speakers who talked of their own experiences and each delivered a powerful message of hope to the thousands of people assembled. There was a very moving presentation in the middle honoring a Napa couple who had delivered their two anacephalic children despite pressures to terminate them before birth. The Gianna Molla award was presented to them honoring them for their faith, dignity and courage in the face of a terrible trial of losing two children to anacephaly. While the walkers waited to make their trek along the embarcadero and marina, friendships formed, people connected and old friends found each other while they walked with their groups, their signs and their families.

I would encourage families to adopt a cause and embrace it together, no matter what your political beliefs may be. Like other Walks we’ve participated in for the Arthritis Foundation, Diabetes and Breast Cancer, this particular day in San Francisco was a special occasion, one that will remain with us as an important day in which we all stood up together as a family and walked for Life.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at or on the web at


Gene Savage said...

Thank you so much for your report on the day of activism in San Francisco. I also attended the Walk For Life WC and had a tremendous time. What a truly inspirational day. It is wonderful in our country of freedom to have the 1st ammendment right of freedom of expression and to use it in a very positive and peaceful manner. We had a very Prayerful, powerful and peaceful walk. Thanks to the SFPD for their help. What was also very inspriring was the report from the SFPD yesterday that there was not a single arrest, no was there a reported incident from the entire march of 25,000 to 30,000 marchers with some sideline protestors.

Thanks you again for your prospective.

Gene Savage
Holy Trinity Knights of Columbus
El Dorado Hills, CA.

Tom McGowan said...

Ya should've called and said, "Hey!"

Gavin Newsom said...

It is people like you that keep this nation strong. It is commendable that you excerise your right to free speech. It does not matter what the issue concerns. Just that the hundreds and hundreds of people got out there and were able to do this in a peaceful manner. Many other countries around the world would not let anything like this happen at all. Good going and keep up the fight.