"Big Four" Highlights


 

From Father to Son

We can build a culture of life across generations

By Hunter Estes

My father is in many ways my role model. A Navy pilot for more than 20 years, possessed of great integrity and a commitment to service, he has instilled in me a deep respect for others and a strong sense of duty.

From Father to Son

These values have led me to the front lines of the social justice issue of our times, the struggle to end legalized abortion and build a culture of life. As a 20-year-old junior and member of the pro-life club at Georgetown University, I realize that this movement has been going strong for more than double my lifetime. The March for Life in the nation's capital marks its 45th year this month, and I am honored to join the long line with so many other young people from across the nation, and humbled to rub shoulders with men and women who have been marching for decade after decade.

I am also privileged to play a small part in spreading the pro-life message to my millennial generation through the Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life at Georgetown, now in its 17th year. It is my hope that through these activities and my daily witness on campus and elsewhere, I will do for others what my father has done for me – set an example of charity, integrity and service, with special care for the most innocent and needy among us.

While my father’s words of wisdom and lessons on right and wrong helped to define the man I am today, the deepest impressions on my heart come from the things he did and the way he lived. My view of the world and humanity has been shaped by the genuine respect and ever-present kindness that he shows to each person, and the level head and calm heart with which he approaches every problem.

In addition, my father’s military service has given me one of the greatest gifts of all – a profound sense of duty and a personal commitment to selfless service to God, family, community and country. This commitment is inherently pro-life, for to act in charity for the good of another leads to a recognition of that person’s innate human dignity. My Catholic faith, nurtured by my father and my mother, tells me that human dignity goes beyond mere human convention but applies to all people at all times, because each person is created and loved by God.

Unfortunately, many millennials report a lack of religious commitment and identify themselves as “nones.” An absence of spiritual guidance leaves them vulnerable to powerful cultural pressures that seek to negate the innate value of life, based more on a distorted notion of personal freedom than on biological science and moral consistency. Nonetheless, many of us millennials continue to stand courageously for life, despite opposition and the lure of campus and cultural acceptance. We do this not to score political points or gain popularity but to end the injustice and violence of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and other attacks on innocent human life.

Near the entrance to Georgetown’s campus stands a white monument, dedicated to those who fought in World War II and rededicated to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Etched in black are the words, “For God and Country.” It stands as a reminder that we as students are called to commit ourselves to higher purposes. We are not meant simply to be test takers and grade makers. We are called to be more, to do more, to serve the common good and honor the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.

The March for Life is in keeping with this call. Through it, my fellow millennials and I hope to inspire in others the same sense of purpose and commitment to life that has been handed on to us. We will continue to work proudly for the defenseless and needy among us, so that another generation may follow in our footsteps wherever the dignity of human life is threatened.

Hunter Estes is the immediate Past Grand Knight of Georgetown Council 6375 in Washington, D.C.