Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First Page

Number Six was invited to write about the saga... and they published it on the first page!

And here is her text--edited from her blog to fit the newspaper's parameters.

Stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike!

You've probably heard about our adventures of being stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on the news, but I'll start at the beginning.

Traveling to D.C. for the annual March for Life was uneventful. I was amazed at the number of people, despite the many groups which had cancelled due to the oncoming weather. It was a wonderful experience to be standing up for our beliefs among so many other people who shared them.

It started snowing around noon and continued all through the March. We walked on, singing, cheering, and holding our signs so they blocked the snow from our faces. Smiles everywhere. We were all soaked when we loaded the buses and started back, earlier than scheduled, to be ahead of the storm.

Then came the part of our trip that made national news. Well, international news actually. We were driving along the Pennsylvania Turnpike around 9pm when our bus rolled to a stop. There was an accident about 10 miles ahead so traffic was slow, but we should be out soon.

That "soon" turned into 1-3 hours.

And 1-3 hours turned into 8.

The next morning we still had not moved. It was still snowing heavily. They told us the National Guard had been called in to help dig out the vehicles.

We were still in the same place at noon, when we joined the other groups for Mass. It was one of the best Masses I've ever attended. The snow was coming down on us in large, wet flakes and we stood and shivered. We prayed and sang together like we had been stranded for no other reason. I was in awe. Who gets the experience of going to Mass on the side of the road, standing in over a foot of snow, while more snow is being dumped on them by the minute? Yet there was so much joy. We all had light hearts and returned to our buses with renewed optimism.
Food was becoming scarce. We had snacks, but everyone was longing for an actual meal. With the help of the National Guard, we eventually got some pizza. It was cold and we had to share our pieces, but it tasted so good at the time!

Another few hours went by. It was dark out now. A church in Bedford, PA, was offering us dinner and lodging for the night. Around 6pm, we clapped and cheered when the bus finally started moving.
The next morning we packed up and started on our way. We were so happy to be heading home under blue sky. We gave a huge thank you to our bus driver. That day went by fast, now that we were moving. We shared our experiences and we prayed.

We finally pulled into the Cathedral parking lot Monday at 6am, 63 hours after leaving DC. The Sioux Falls news reporters had cameras set up, and we got off the bus singing “Holy God we Praise Thy Name”. As we stepped out, the bishop gave us each a hug and said, "Welcome home."

One of our leaders had taken and posted a video of our roadside Mass. Throughout the rest of the trip he was updating us on the number of hits it had. The last I heard was 1.8 million. We had Skype interviews with several news agencies, and even BBC news asked him if they could use his video. Our story is all over the internet. If you Google search "Pennsylvania Turnpike Mass," you'll see what I mean.

The Brookings teens who were on that trip have created a T-Shirt design with the words “I Survived the Turnpike”. The proceeds of the sale will go towards all who helped us.

No comments: