It is one of the most decisive issues in our nation now and has been since 1973. It probably would have been just as decisive before that, only there wasn’t as much media coverage and it wasn’t talked about publicly.

The topic, of course, is abortion.

For millions of Americans, it is a moral issue, a religious issue, a social issue, a highly emotional issue and a political issue. That’s right — political. An estimated 200 to 250 people in Norfolk on Sunday joined thousands of others across the nation to participate in a Life Chain, held annually the first weekend of October. The Life Chain is designed as a peaceful, prayerful way for individuals of all ages to show their opposition to abortion.

It is impressive to see men, women and children make their points without shouting or getting in other’s faces. There were no broken windows from this “protest,” items thrown, intimidating gestures, fires started or attempts to stop traffic. It’s been that way for decades. The participants turn out for each Life Chain regardless of whether there is media coverage. They are loyal.

While the number of people who have participated in recent years is a fraction of some of the Life Chains in the 1990s, it remains impressive to see people so committed to a cause that they are willing to stand outside for an hour — no matter what the October weather. They remain peaceful even when they occasionally get mocked by passers-by or have disrespectful comments directed toward them.

Still, what might be most impressive are the thoughtful answers provided by some of the participants.

One of the participants on Sunday said individuals and hearts have to change in order to eliminate abortion. She went on to say, “And every life has dignity because if you start to pick and choose whose life has value and is worth it and whose life is not, that just leads down the wrong road.”

Another participant said that with all the restrictions that have been placed on free speech — especially conservative free speech — she wondered if there will be a day when the government will try to ban pro-life rallies.

A couple who participated said they did so because they wanted to show their support for all the unborn babies who are killed every year. There are many different ways — including adoptions — to solve the issue of unwanted babies than to kill the child, the couple said.

While it remains to be seen if abortion becomes more restrictive or actually gets eliminated, it is encouraging to see people discuss the issue and look for solutions.

In other news

Ahmaud Arbery is not here, but he heard the verdicts. He knows, in that place where his restless soul resides, that his death has been avenged.

HARTINGTON — In response to a recent letter to the editor, of the Norfolk Daily News, stating a Convention of States is not the answer, I offer the following thoughts.

These are abridged remarks I gave in Baltimore at the “Enough is Enough” protest across from the annual gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.