Pro Life Rally Held In Bremerton

More than 300 people took part in an anti-abortion “Life Chain” rally along Wheaton Way Oct. 7.  From left: Ron Calderwood, Laurie Calderwood, Leslie Bellomay and Keith Foster. - By Summer Watterson
More than 300 people took part in an anti-abortion “Life Chain” rally along Wheaton Way Oct. 7. From left: Ron Calderwood, Laurie Calderwood, Leslie Bellomay and Keith Foster.
— image credit: By Summer Watterson

Anybody driving down Wheaton Way in East Bremerton on Sunday, Oct. 7 might have noticed hundreds of people lined up on both sides of the street holding anti-abortion signs.

According to Tom Holtsnider, the director of Kitsap County Life Chain, the event included prayer for unborn babies.

Jim and Sylva Bemis, participants from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, have been involved with Life Chain since it was started.

“We want to make people aware of the issue and show them that there are still a number of people who are upset with (abortion) laws,” said Jim Bemis, who is a deacon at the church. “We believe in the sanctity of life. Abortion and euthanasia devalue that sanctity of life.”

The local Life Chain is part of a global organization formed in Yuba City and Marysville, Calif., in 1987. Every year, on the first Sunday in October, thousands of people on streets across the country line up to protest against abortion.

Sunday’s event saw people lined up from Sylvan Way to Riddell Road on both sides of Wheaton Way, although not in one continuous chain.

According to Holtsnider there were about 340 people along busy Wheaton Way. It was the 10th annual Life Chain event in Kitsap County.

Holtsnider said this year’s event went smoothly. Some people driving down Wheaton Way during the protest honked their horns, others swore or made obscene gestures to participants.

“If there’s any kind of a problem we just try to ignore it,” said Holtsnider.

Ernie Schramm, of Port Orchard, one of the participants in Sunday’s chain, said he’s been participating since 1997. He said he’s done many things to protest abortion besides Life Chain, such as picketing at churches and calling the police and accusing abortion clinics of premeditated murder. He said he has been arrested for calling the police and charged with harassment and making false reports.

“I want to keep encouraging people to write their congressman,” said Schramm. “I think Christians and citizens are too comfortable with abortion.”

Churches from Bremerton involved in the event included Bremerton Church of the Nazarene, CK Christian, Chico Alliance, Crossroad Neighborhood Church, First Baptist, Holy Trinity, Kitsap Lake Baptist, Lincoln Avenue Bible, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Peace Lutheran, Peninsula Bible Fellowship, Sonshine Baptist, Sylvan Way Baptist and Trinity Bible Fellowship.

“I think we stand in the gap for the unborn,” said Deli Muhleman, one of the participants. “If one heart is changed we’ve accomplished something.”

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