On this date, September 6, 1901, the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, was shot and fatally wounded inside the Temple of Music on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley was shaking hands with the public when he was shot by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. The President died on September 14 from gangrene caused by the bullet wounds.
William McKinley who was a devout Christian forgave his assassin but Leon Czolgosz still had to pay with his life. He was executed on October 29, 53 days after the crime and 47 after the president’s death. He was guilty beyond any doubt at all, thank God the Justice System was swift and sure at that time.
"He didn't know, poor fellow, what he was doing. He couldn't have known."- William McKinley
Leon Czolgosz shoots President McKinley with a concealed revolver. Clipping of a wash drawing by T. Dart Walker.
We, the comrades of Unit 1012, remember this tragic event every year on September 6. We had made President William McKinley one of the 26 Christian Martyrs of Unit 1012. The lesson we learn from the assassination is that McKinley (who was a murdered victim) still forgave his assassin publicly, this case will debunk the myth that Death Penalty Supporters like us, are all revengeful and hateful. Every year on September 6, we will post an article or interview about forgiveness.
For this year’s Forgiveness Project of Unit 1012, we have a special guest; we will interview a friend of the victims’ families. The victims here are Arjen and Yvonne Ryder, a couple who died in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. This person request to remain anonymous and we will name him the special guest.
Unit 1012: How did you feel that day when you learn that two of the 298 victims of MH17, were relatives of your friends?
Special Guest: I felt so devastated. I became depress for several days and I got nerve rash because of the sadness. Although I am not related to the Ryders myself, I felt strongly and I have staunch empathy and sympathy for those who lost their loved ones through homicide.
Unit 1012: How did you cope with the sadness?
Special Guest: First of all, despite losing Arjen and Yvonne, I prayed hard and I know that they are both in a better place now. Secondly, I consistently reminded myself to think of how they lived and not how they died.
Unit 1012: One of the family members of the 298 victims on MH17 wants the death penalty for those responsible for shooting down the plane, what is your stance on the death penalty for those perpetrators?
Special Guest: Well, this is a tough decision for me. I understand the feelings of the mother who lost her son, I walk in her shoes and I personally feel that they should be put to death for their ‘war crime’. However, I want a fair trial and proper investigation, as I do not want to convict an innocent person. I will leave it to those investigators to do their job like the CIA/FBI. I rather focus on remembering the Ryder Couple and also the other 296 victims.
Unit 1012: Do you forgive the perpetrators yourself?
Special Guest: Yes I do. I personally admire the family members and relatives of the Ryders, who forgive those who shot down the plane. I strongly agree with Unit 1012’s motto of Justice and Protection. I prayed hard and I will forgive them, however, I know that forgiveness does not eliminate consequences. Although I forgive them, I still feel that they must be prosecuted for ‘war crimes’. I feel that way not because of revenge but of justice. As mention above, I prefer focusing on the 298 victims more than I am interested in pursuing justice as I want fairness.
Unit 1012: Thank you for your time.
Special Guest: You are welcome.