EUGENE — On Sept. 10, about 35 people gathered at St. Mary Church in Eugene to pay special honor to aborted children, especially those children aborted in the United States since the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973.

The event, originally scheduled to be held outside, took place inside the parish community center because of heavy smoke from wildfires in southern Oregon.

The service was coordinated by Eric Walter, State Life Program Director of the Knights of Columbus in Oregon, along with planning committee members Joyce Ice, Eileen McMahan and Teresa Danovich.

After an opening prayer by Father Ron Nelson, pastor of St. Mary, the church’s bells tolled 64 times, each chime representing a million children lost to abortion.

A two-man Knights of Columbus honor guard stood at attention.

Julie Walter and Loyal Omvig performed the song “I Am Not Alone,” and David Macauley and Kathy O’Hara performed “The Chosen One.”

Leslie Hanson read a responsorial psalm and Walter, Lynda Teutsch and Joyce Ice gave other Scripture readings. Father Nelson followed with a homily.

Blake Moser of the Eugene/Springfield Right to Life Chapter and Patrick Parson, Albany Council 1577 Life Program Director, were featured speakers.

Father John Boyle, pastor in Cottage Grove, gave the closing prayer. After the service, some attendees braved the smoke and ashes to visit the memorial to the unborn in the parish plaza.