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As winter storm Jonas slammed into the east coast over the weekend, halting travel and delaying flights, a group of Marquette students became stuck in Washington D.C. and are scheduled to fly back tonight.
The 16 students spent last week in the nation’s capitol to participate in a March For Life demonstration, a trip sponsored by Campus Ministry and Marquette Students for Life. Their original plan was to fly home on Saturday and then Sunday but those flights were canceled. The plan now is for some of the group to return today on a 3:35 p.m. flight and for the rest to take an 8:30 p.m. flight tonight.
Campus Ministry Administrative Assistant Ann Hilbert is with the students and was in touch with Marquette’s travel agent to coordinate the new flights and hotel stays.
Sarah Huber, senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of Marquette Students for Life, said the travel delay allowed the group to strengthen their bonds with each other.
“We have found ways to entertain ourselves including spending nights around the hotel piano singing, playing out in the snow – including a snowball fight after mass and sledding by the Capitol Building – and joining together in some of the most powerful prayer any of us have ever experienced,” Huber said in an email.
Steve Blaha, assistant director of Campus Ministry, said the unexpected storm is one reason why the group calls their March for Life trip a pilgrimage.
“Part of the experience is how does a group embrace moments of discomfort to learn more about themselves, their relationship with God and the work of justice,” Blaha said. “Working for justice is never easy.”
Huber said the group took the inconvenience well because they had good attitudes about it.
“It was worth being stuck in D.C. to have the opportunity to stand up for life in a very real, tangible way,” Huber said in an email. “It was worth being stuck here to get to know the people who we encountered on the pilgrimage including the wonderful hotel staff, the nice woman who helped us pay for a meal and, most importantly, each other.”