Founder of March for Life to Be Honored in National Garden of Heroes

Mikaela Mathews | Contributor | Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Founder of March for Life to Be Honored in National Garden of Heroes

Founder of March for Life to Be Honored in National Garden of Heroes

President Donald Trump intends to honor Nellie Gray, the pro-life activist who started March for Life, in the National Garden of American Heroes, according to The Christian Post.

The National Garden, which is intended to honor American heroes, was announced earlier this summer. The President signed an Executive Order that stipulates the garden will open before July 4, 2026, which is the 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence.

Gray will be honored alongside former presidents, civil rights leaders, Founding Fathers, and cultural icons in the Garden. The 88-year-old activist died in 2012.

She started the annual March for Life shortly after Roe v. Wade was decided in 1974. Her intention was to create a “one-time march around the U.S. Capitol” to convince the Supreme Court to reverse its decision.

But when the march did not change the Court’s mind, she quit her job and started March for Life as an organization “committed to a culture of life.” The march has continued every year in January around the January 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

In a video tribute to the leader, board members and friends applauded Gray for her relentless pursuit for life.

“She was a tireless advocate for the unborn child throughout her life,” said Paige Comstock Cunningham of the Center for Bio Ethics and Human Dignity. “No compromise, no exceptions.”

“Nellie said that ‘you cannot allow a little bit of abortion any more than you can allow a little bit of murder,’” said Valerian Stasik, member of the March for Life’s Board.

“What I’m saying to you is we will be here until we overturn Roe v. Wade and believe me, we are going to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Gray said in a speech at the 34th annual March for Life in 2007.

After her death, Jeanne Mancini took over as president for March for Life. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and security concerns in Washington, the march will be held virtually for most pro-life activists.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wroblewski/Stringer

Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.