PARKERSBURG - A memorial cross and flag project to raise awareness of abortion in the United States began Friday and will run for two weeks at three locations in Wood County.
Volunteers placed 133 white crosses at St. Monica's Catholic Church on Friday evening, to mark the 133 babies aborted each hour in the U.S., said event organizer Sunny Murray.
The same number of white crosses will be placed at 10 a.m. today at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Vienna.
Photo by Wayne Towner
Dave Walters, a volunteer, puts in small crosses for a display by Catholics for Life at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Lubeck on Friday evening. Additional displays will be placed this weekend at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Vienna and Parkersburg Catholic High School.
On Sunday, 3,200 white crosses and pink and blue flags will be displayed at Parkersburg Catholic High School beginning at 8:30 a.m. That number marks the number of abortions each day in the U.S., Murray said.
The crosses and flags will be on display for two weeks.
"The purpose of the display is to highlight the tremendous loss of innocent human life through abortion," Murray said.
The project was organized by Catholics for Life, a local pro-life group with members from several parishes. The group also works on issues like euthanasia, capital punishment, care of the elderly and sick, said Murray, who is president of the group.
Others helping with the displays are the Knights of Columbus, Wood County Right to Life, Starkwood Designs and members of local churches.
The hundreds of small white crosses being used in the display were loaned to the local group by West Virginians for Life, Murray said. With help from volunteers, the traveling display was brought to Parkersburg where some crosses were refurbished and repainted.
After the local project is over, the crosses will be returned to the state group where they will be available for other groups to conduct similar displays, she said.
"This is the first year we've done it," Murray said of the cross and flag exhibit. "There are a lot of churches and organizations that do this and they call it 'the cemetery of the innocent.'"
Murray said she is not sure the cross and flag project will be an annual event, but Catholics for Life- which was created and organized in 2012- will continuing doing various types of community projects to raise awareness of other life issues. The cross and flag project will likely return in the future, with time, location and other factors depending on circumstances.
"We encompass a lot, but this project is just focused on abortion just because of the huge numbers of abortions," she said of the current project.
"While this can be a religious issue, it is also an issue of justice - justice for those who cannot speak, protest, picket, vote or even pray for themselves. We are silently speaking for the unborn by this cross and flag display," Murray said.