Friday, February 26, 2010
Stories of Forgiveness ~ Lent Series ~ Gordon Wilson
Rememberance day 1987 is a day that many of us will remember. It was the day that Gordon Wilson and his daughter Marie Wilson went to the rememberence day ceremony at the war memorial in Enniskillen. During the ceremony, a bomb planted by the IRA eploded resulting in the collapse of a wall and much damage to the surrounding area. Eleven people ultimately lost their lives including Marie Wilson. You can see her mothers account here.
Shortly after the bombing and her death, Marie's Father Gordon was interviewed by the BBC. His statement made national and international headlines:
"She held my hand tightly, and gripped me as hard as she could. She said, 'Daddy, I love you very much.' Those were her exact words to me, and those were the last words I ever heard her say." To the astonishment of listeners," He went on to say, "But I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge. Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life. She was a great wee lassie. She loved her profession. She was a pet. She's dead. She's in heaven and we shall meet again. I will pray for these men tonight and every night"
What an amazing thing to say in the midst of all that suffering, the nightmare he had been through and the loss of his daughter and yet he could say "I bear no ill, I bear no grudge".
He said he had prayed for his daughter's killers and pleaded with Loyalists not to take revenge for her death.
Historian Jonathan Bardon said, "No words in more than twenty-five years of violence in Northern Ireland had such a powerful, emotional impact."