Over 5,000 people from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and other Midwestern states gathered Jan. 14 in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago for the annual March for Life Chicago commemorating the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Participants carried signs with pro-life messages and balloons during the rally and march through the streets of downtown. The drum line from Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein played in the march. Chris Murrens of Libertyville brought her two teen-aged children to the march and said seeing the man youth and young adults in attendance was “heartwarming” and “inspirational.” “The heavenly Father is smiling. Our Lady is smiling. It’s a great day,” she said. Murrens brought her two teen-aged children and felt it was important to expose them to the event and the message. “I want them to see how important this is and for them to be part of this generation that is turning things around to become more pro-life,” Murrens said. “They are having a wonderful time and getting the message all at the same time.” Young people, especially in their teens, are impressionable and open to new things so that is a pivotal time to share the church’s teaching that life is sacred from the womb until natural death, the mother of three said. “This is when they see so much of what is going on in the world. This is the time when you can really grab their hearts and make a difference for the rest of their lives,” she said. Cardinal Cupich -- one of several speakers who addressed the gathering prior to the march -- applauded the witness of young people and, referring to the recent feast of Epiphany, called them “the new Magi." “You give us confidence that the energy to protect the child in the womb has not grown weak over these 45 years, but is as youthful, strong and vibrant as you are,” the cardinal said. “You are the new Magi in our time, who teach us all to keep our heads up, and amid the darkness of the night at times, to take heart that God is still in the heavens, guiding us like that Bethlehem star and keeping our dreams alive.” Quoting Pope Francis, Cardinal Cupich said that children make society “dream beyond ourselves.” “Taking human life, especially the life of the child in the womb, not only has an impact on that one human being but deeply wounds all of humanity, robs from us our ability to dream and see life as much bigger than our own concerns, challenges and struggles,” he said. “Is it any wonder that we are so divided as a nation when we are so fixed only on ourselves, when we can no longer dream and see all that God is doing beyond ourselves?” The 1973 Roe v Wade decision robbed the nation of its children and its dreams, he said. “Now with the recent law passed by our legislature and signed by our governor, more lives and dreams will be robbed as will family incomes that will be forcibly used to pay for abortions,” Cardinal Cupich said referring HB40, legislation Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law in 2017 taht provides state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions. “Can we not better use our tax dollars to support health care for families expecting children, and child care and assistance to parents when their children come into the world? Can we not better use our tax dollars to keep alive both our children and our dreams as a nation?” Other speakers at the rally included Illinois Congressmen Dan Lipinski and Peter Roskum and former Planned Parenthood director Ramona Trevino. Earlier in the day, Cardinal Cupich celebrated the archdiocesan Mass for Life at Holy Name Cathedral attended by a standing-room only crowd. During the Mass, young people brought white roses to the altar, commemorating lives lost to abortion and homicide in Chicago last year. Some of those who attended the Mass and rally would also travel to Washington, D.C., for the National March for Life on Jan. 19.