Friday, October 06, 2006

Off Topic:
A Little Girl's Courage & Self Sacrifice

Several days ago, with sorrowful disbelief and a stifling sadness, people across our country watched in horror as reporters relayed the tragic events that occurred in a small Amish community in Pennsylvania. Tonight, I read a related news article that left me utterly speechless. A few days ago, I wrote an article while in effect pondering the essence human nature and our capacities for good and evil. Reading this, I no longer wonder but sit here in stunned amazement. We have all seen evil. But would we ever have expected to see such bravery, valor, and courage, such goodness, in one small little girl.

I have copied the article below in its entirety. I will warn parents and younger readers that the content may prove disturbing. Younger children should read this only with their parent's consent.

New Massacre Revelation Shows Amish Girl Asked To Be Shot First
Friday October 6, 2006

The Amish live in a world where self sacrifice is a way of life and doing the right thing is the only choice.

And now a new revelation that follows that gruesome schoolhouse shooting on Monday appears to show they follow those rules even in death.

According to those who survived the rampage by Charles Roberts near Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, one of the victims who was fatally wounded asked to be shot first so she could save the others.

Roberts burst into the one room schoolhouse, ordered all the males out, took 11 young girls hostage and then lined them up to shoot them, execution style. His last bullet was saved for himself.

When it became clear the gunman intended to carry out his deadly mission, 13-year-old Marian Fisher stepped forward, pleading with him to shoot her first, hoping he might spare the others.

There's no word if Roberts complied with the request.

Her 11-year-old sister Barbie then followed her lead, asking to be shot next. She survived the ambush. Marian did not. Barbie was at her sister's funeral on Thursday, before returning to hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The revelations came from the younger sister, who confided the horror to the nurse-midwife that delivered her sister more than a decade ago. "She said Marian said, 'Shoot me first,'" Rita Rhoads reveals. "Apparently what she was trying to do was to save the younger girls.

"It was very courageous of the girls to offer themselves. God was really present to give the girls that kind of courage."

Fisher and four others were buried on Thursday. A fifth child was taken off life support and died late this week. She was laid to rest on Friday.

Roberts left a number of suicide notes behind, claiming he had molested some family members 20 years ago and 'dreamed' he would do it again. He also revealed a hatred for God and the world when his premature baby died just 20 minutes after being born.



Source: City News CP 24 Toronto, Ontario

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GettysBLOG said...

I read that article and wept. Such courage and self-sacrifice in such a young person!

What a shame she was forced into such a position.

Hats off to the brave young girls, and the Amish community as a whole, which has come together to take care of their own, and also has reached out to the family of the man who perpetrated the vile crime.

There are a series of life lessons there for all of us, and they transcend Christian values -- they are basic human values that all people should embrace.

Thank you for posting this.

Judi said...

Thank you for this. I hadn't seen a word about it anyplace else.

Randy said...

I had mentioned in another article that Gettysburg with all of its many complexities reminds us of what we were and could yet be. I think that this little girl, entirely on her own during a moment of extreme and tragic crisis, reminds us of the same.