9-11. The West Nickel Mines School need your help. October 2, 2006.
Described as a Conservative Christian and family man, Charles Carl Roberts, 32, was married and a father of three. On October 2, 2006 he entered a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster,Pa, took 10 girls hostage, shot them killing five of them before taking his own life as police stormed into the school by breaking through the window. A pregnant woman, three parents with infants, and all fifteen male students were told to leave the school by Roberts.
The reports claim he had been planning the attacks for a week and had brought along wood 2x4s, eye hooks, nails, and chains presumably to be used for securing the victims, and KY jelly apparently to sexually assault the girls.
They were shot execution style in the back of the head. The victims — Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8; and her sister Lena Miller, 7 ; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12.
The Amish community after the events put emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation. An Amish neighbor came the same night to the Roberts’ home and offered forgiveness to the family. Judgment is in God’s hands: `Judge not, that ye be not judged.'”
The West Nickel Mines School was torn down was demolished the following week leaving a quiet pasture. A new one-room schoolhouse, the New Hope School, was built at another location.
The tragedy inspired a Lancaster County man to write about the power of forgiveness. Author Jonas Beiler grew up in an old order Amish family, wrote the book “Think No Evil” http://www.wgal.com/news/21061462/detail.html. His wife is Auntie Anne’s Pretzels founder Anne Beiler. Beiler also had insight into Roberts’ story. In 1975, the Beilers’ 19-month-old daughter Angie was struck and killed by a tractor driven by a relative. http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/242444
The Amish do not normally accept charity and the Foundation’s Nickel Mines School Victims Fund is now closed, interested donors may contribute to the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee to:
1528 Georgetown Rd.
Christiana, PA 17509
“Many of us seemed preoccupied for an explanation of why this happened. There really was no way to make sense of this senseless act. As an Amish mother once said, “All the time the question ‘Why?’ comes to our minds. But we should not expect to be able to understand everything in this life, and should never put a question mark where God has put a period.” Little children were promised the kingdom of heaven.” http://www.amishnews.com/publishersmessages/SchoolShooting.htm
It’s hard not to think no evil when evil took the lives of five little girls, disabled five more and devistated a community. We’ll try, except the axis of evil keeps popping into our thoughts.
Photo- A candlelight vigil in Strasburg, Pa., Oct. 3, 2006. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
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