SILVERTON — Despite a pandemic, wildfires and thick smoke, a small group gathered Sept. 12 at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery here for National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.

Cathy Peters, chairwoman of the St. Paul Respect Life Ministry, had reluctantly canceled the event, which was to include a guest speaker, a rosary and a bagpiper. Smoke was heavy and designated unhealthy.

But 12 hours before the service had been planned to start, bagpiper Mike McKee of Silverton said he was going to go the cemetery to play anyway.

Then Bill Seeber, head of the area’s Knights of Columbus, announced he was going to bring his family. Peters decided to go, too.

The group gathered at a memorial for the unborn that had been placed by Buzz and Bev Huber.

McKee was able to create enough flow for a moving pipe anthem. The group prayed a pro-life rosary, and Alison Seeber sang Carey Landry’s “Hail Mary: Gentle Woman.” McKeen then started the final song. Peters looked up and saw three black birds fly together overhead. 

“I’m going to suggest they were three very sooty doves,” Peters said. “Peace, Hope and Love.”

 Nationwide, there were 195 memorial services for the unborn that day.