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A group of University of Mary students have been invited to the White House Rose Garden on Friday for President Donald Trump's March for Life address.

The annual March for Life is held to commemorate the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion. Thousands of people attend the anti-abortion gathering, which is held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Twenty students from the University will be at the Rose Garden for Trump's address, which he will give via satellite. The students learned they would be in attendance for his speech Friday morning after mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, just down the street from the White House.

Trump will become the first president to address the pre-rally march via live video, The Hill reported.

"We’re so honored to be at this famous place for this historic moment in our country, representing our state and our Catholic university," said University of Mary junior, Hailey Hilzendeger, a respiratory therapy major from Avon, S.D.

On Tuesday, more than 600 people from North Dakota, including more than 200 from the University of Mary, piled into charter buses for the nearly 30-hour trip to Washington, D.C. On Thursday, some students met Vice President Mike Pence at a reception before the march.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or


Education and Health Reporter