HEROES OF FORGIVENESS
John and Deborah McDaniel
On September 11, 1997, John and Deborah McDaniel received the shocking news that their 20-year old son, Uriah McDaniel, had been beaten and stabbed to death. A few days later, they learned that the killer was a down-and-out youth with a drug habit and violent tendencies whom their son had befriended and tried to help.
John and his wife, Deborah, have chosen not to hang on to the pain and anger of that horror and its damaging effect on their lives. After several months of grief, anger and inner turmoil that almost destroyed their marriage, they wrote and sent a letter of forgiveness to their son’s killer.
John has since set out on a journey of change. He makes presentations to organizations promoting the need for outreach to prisoners. He conducts a 3-day workshop in prisons for inmates. It is entitled “Free the Heart, A Healing Experience” He does a segment on forgiveness during the workshop and his wife reads their letter to their son’s killer. He says, “Man is it ever powerful!”
John believes that if you don’t forgive you cannot heal. He feels that forgiving his son’s killer literally saved his life.
HEROES of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace
The designation of "Hero of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace" is bestowed upon those who have courageously and dramatically stepped forward to demonstrate and exemplify the concept of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.
These are not necessarily famous people. They are often ordinary people who have chosen to express profound and genuine forgiveness in their personal lives. These people have experienced a transformation as a result of their act or acts of forgiveness and demonstrate how this change continues to manifest over time. Their stories can inspire and motivate ordinary people to act in a similar manner.
CHAMPIONS of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace
The "Champions of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace" designation is bestowed upon those whose professional work inspires and leads the way by defining, applying and spreading the concept of forgiveness reconciliation and peace.