September 5, 2011
Written by Angela Michael
It felt more like autumn as we set up our signs and banners along the prestigious parade route. The heat-wave was broken; God blessed us with much appreciated fall-like weather. It was beautiful. As the crowds began trickling onto the route, it appeared numbers were down a little, but moms and f.o.b.’s soon filled the spaces. The parade hadn’t even begun yet, and one irate, foul-mouthed young woman crossed the street and began verbally attacking us for being there. I told everyone, “Just ignore her.” A lone policeman stood in the distance watching. I told her to go back across the street. She did eventually after spewing her filth. We hadn’t even unfurled our message yet. Oh boy!
With a loud BOOM! the 31st annual Granite City Labor Day parade began rolling down the street. The politicians and parade Grand Marshal came first, including Mayor Hagnauer who groaned as he came by. We no sooner took our strategic places, when one politician and his entourage came by us. From his car he yelled, “Go get ‘em Angela!” and flashed us a thumbs-up. I don’t need to mention names, but most of the politicians walked over to us, shook our hands, and told us they were with us. Some thanked us for standing this day. “You need to be here,” one said.
Thank God for our children. The scripture Psalms 127 came to mind, and they were a great blessing to us this day. They know how important getting the message out in this public forum is. Our signs were not the problem. The problem was the truth of what this deplorable city houses and allows to happen to innocent children. We held banners, one stating: “Stop Abortion in Granite City,” and signs depicting what happens to babies inside Hope Clinic only two blocks over from us. I held Baby Malachi and a ho-made sign around my neck stating: “
’s Shame.” Granite City
The fire truck pulled in front of us trying to cover us up. Three jackbooted firemen folded their arms and used their broad bodies to block Angela. They began a tirade of cursing and telling us that their kids shouldn’t have to see this. Our son Hunter grabbed his big sign and came to his mother’s aid. He is over 6 feet tall and held the sign up over his head. “You can’t block the truth.” The firemen then surrounded Hunter, and one clenched his fist. They put their faces right in our son’s, and I yelled, “You put one hand on him and there will be a lawsuit.” They retreated and joined up with their group.
A steelworker woman yelled, “This is a children’s parade.” More pitiful looking floats came by. The children were told to turn their heads, but they could have cared less; the children were more interested in throwing candy or receiving it. It was the parents that were being convicted and spewing their hate, “F*** you’ all!”
The Granite City High band came by, and for once they didn’t attempt to block us because they knew our banners reached high over their trailer. One woman brought her children to view the graphic signs, telling them the truth of what the signs represented. These children didn’t seem to be terrified or negatively affected.
“That’s bull***! This is supposed to be a parade,” said a float-rider as two young girls sat next to her more focused on throwing their candy rather than on the signs we held. The children around us concentrated with glee on collecting the pieces of candy scattered about them; on the other hand, their parents were the ones infuriated at the graphic truth of what
allows. More foul language filled the air as the parade continued. “That’s f******* beautiful!” commented another angry laborer as children stood nearby. Granite City
All of a sudden the Coors Light beer truck rolled by. One of our helpers questioned, “I thought this was a children’s parade?!” They were advertising alcohol in it. I looked over and replied, “Well, this is
.” There wasn’t much in the procession this year except for a few photo-ops of steelworkers’ and spectators’ kids posing with a wooden rocking horse they assembled. Granite City
As the parade drew to a close, a local Granitonian came by. He thanked us for standing and said that he was proud of what we do. Every year he encourages his congregation to join us, yet they shrink back. “I ask them to come down to the abortion clinic and stand, and they shrink some more.” He went on to tell us, “Just this week I saw a young girl at McDonalds that told me she was going to get an abortion, but she saw you guys out in front of the clinic. One of you talked to her, and she decided not to do it.” We rejoiced, gave God the glory, and ended in a closing prayer.
I thank God for my quiver because we were not put to shame this day. The truth went forth; even the fire department could not drown it out. No matter the cost, we will continue to be faithful. We will not be quiet and passively exist while the slaughter of innocent children goes on just two blocks away. “What I have failed to do,” is why legalized abortion goes on. I commit to follow in the shadows of those who have gone before us overcoming injustice and oppression by their courage, sacrifice, and confrontation that it took to end slavery, segregation, and any holocaust. Through the Lord we have completed everything and then some that we have set out to do and set the bar a little higher.
Psalm 127:3-5 “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”