As the night continued and temperatures dropped into the mid 20s, the size of the group dwindled from roughly 30 people at the beginning to approximately eight people at dawn. Throughout the night, they prayed the Liturgy of the Hours and the rosary, and sang hymns.
Hackett told CNA that he had no major issues with the police or members of the military posted outside the Supreme Court, and that the vigil was peaceful the entire time.
"We told them we weren't trying to cause any trouble," said Hackett. "And so they didn't bother us after that."
Other people journeyed from near and far to stand for life.
Mickey Kelly took the train from Philadelphia to come to the Mass and vigil, partly because he views the annual March for Life as a tradition that he wanted to continue. He had been attending the March for Life nearly every year for the past 12 years.
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"Even though it would be a small crowd, I just thought that I still wanted to make a difference," Kelly said. He described his beliefs as supportive of "all stages of life, from womb to tomb."
Attending the vigil in person "also gives me a chance to recommit to the cause for life," he said. Kelly told CNA that he would also attempt to walk the traditional route of the March for Life on Friday, from the National Mall eastward down Constitution Avenue and to the Supreme Court.
"I just do my best to put what God wants me to do first, and what the world wants me to do last," he said.