Friday, September 14, 2007

Deciding Not to Become Hostage to Hostility

An Amish community that lost five girls in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting massacre last year has donated money to the widow of the gunman.

The Nickel Mines Accountability Committee, which was set up to handle more than $US4.3 million in donations from around the world after the shootings, said it had given an unspecified "contribution" to Marie Roberts, a mother of three.

Her husband, Charles Carl Roberts, a local milk truck driver who was not Amish, tied up and shot 10 Amish schoolgirls aged six to 14 in their classroom on October 3, killing five of them, before turning the gun on himself.

After the shootings, members of the deeply religious Amish community in Lancaster County, about 100 kilometres west of Philadelphia, said they wanted to forgive the gunman.

In a statement, the committee said: "Many from Nickel Mines have pointed out that forgiveness is a journey, that you need help from your community of faith and from God—to make and hold on to a decision not to become a hostage to hostility."

Source: ‘Amish Donate to Widow of Schoolhouse Gunman’, 14 September 2007,

Image: An exterior view of the Georgetown school which was the scene of the execution-style shootings of Amish schoolgirls in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.