Due to be honored at the ceremony are: Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg who was beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Kai Leigh Harriott, the young girl who in a Boston courtroom this spring forgave the man who shot her and left her paralyzed three years earlier, and Nadia McCaffrey, who learned earlier this month that her son Patrick was killed by the allied Iraqi soldiers who were patrolling alongside him.
All three honorees will attend the ceremony to discuss their acts of forgiveness. The event, which is sponsored by the University's Department of Campus Ministry, is open to the public.
After learning that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been killed by U.S. military forces in Iraq, Berg told the world that he mourns the death of al-Zarqawi as he would the death of any man. When Berg was interviewed recently on CNN, news anchor Soledad O’Brien expressed surprise at his reaction. His reply was, “Well, you shouldn't be surprised, because I have never indicated anything but forgiveness and peace in any interview on the air.” Berg is the Green Party candidate for Congress in Delaware
In a Boston courtroom this spring, Kai Leigh Harriott sat in her wheelchair and looked directly at the man who had just pleaded guilty to firing the shot that paralyzed her three years ago. That Boston trial was videotaped and Kai’s emotional scene has replayed on television, over the Internet, and in newspapers across the country and beyond.
In June 2004, Nadia McCaffrey’s son Patrick McCaffrey was killed in Iraq. In 2005, Nadia McCaffrey went to the Jordan and Iraq border with the Families for Peace delegation to help deliver over $650,000 of medical and humanitarian aid for the thousands of refugees, mostly women and children, made homeless by the U.S. attack on Falluja. She also works through her own international organization, Angelstaff, to bring help and assistance to women and children who have survived the trauma of War. Nadia McCaffrey learned this month that her son was killed by allied Iraqi soldiers.
Robert W. Plath, a Marin County attorney, created Forgiveness Day in 1996 to honor the power of forgiveness. His dream is to have the first Sunday in August designated as International Forgiveness Day, the first internationally sanctioned holiday. It is now celebrated in 20 U.S. cities and nine countries. His organization, the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, strives to promote awareness of the scientific and spiritual benefits of the forgiveness process.
For more information about the event, please call Robert Plath at 415-381-3372.