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2009-11-12 digital edition

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2009-11-12 / Front Page

Fort Hood and Forgivness

by Rev. Linda O’Neal

On November 5th a gunman shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood and injured 29 others. That a fellow citizen could do that somehow seemed worse than if a foreign enemy had attacked us. At first I could only feel angry and so very sad for all the people who were harmed and for their families. Then after a while it occurred to me that the people who responded to this tragedy exemplified the highest of Christian standards. The police officer, Kimberly Munley, who stopped Major Hasan’s killing spree by shooting him, was herself shot in both legs and in her wrist. She is the mother of a three year old daughter, and yet she did not hesitate to put her life on the line for others. And I thought about the medical personnel who first came upon the scene to treat the wounded. They treated Major Hasan and saved his life, even though they must have felt absolutely furious with him. I realized that it speaks volumes for what is right about our country that I take for granted that in such a situation our police officers would all have been willing to do just what Kimberly Munley did and our medical personnel would all be professionals who would treat any wounded person efficiently, no matter who that person is. So I am praying that God will not allow my anger to turn into hatred. I do not want to become a person eaten up with hatred, no matter how justifiable my anger may be. I am so proud that in our country people like Kimberly Munley and the medical personnel are the norm and people like Major Hasan are extremely rare. I do not want to become hate-filled. Even though forgiveness will be difficult, it is worth the effort.

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