Leaving a Legacy of Goodness

The Missoulian, Missoula, MT – On the 20th anniversary of her family’s deadly standoff with federal law enforcement officers at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, Sara Weaver is an advocate of forgiveness.

“Three years ago I Googled my name,” Weaver said, “and I thought “That’s not the legacy I want to leave for my son.'”

Weaver says she has made a distinction between forgiving someone and condoning what that person did. Forgiving simply meant she gave up holding onto the negative feelings and emotions of the incidents.

“It’s not like saying, ‘It’s sunny today, there’s a rainbow. I feel like forgiving someone today,'” she said. “It’s that in my heart and life, I’ve never got freedom from hanging onto toxic grudges.”

Sara Weaver was 16 when her father, Randy Weaver, got in a shootout with federal marshals at his cabin in northern Idaho. Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan and Weaver’s 14-year-old son Sammy Weaver were both killed on the first day after officers tried to serve a warrant for weapons charges.

Sara Weaver’s mother, Vicki Weaver, was shot dead by an FBI sniper the next day, and her father and another man were wounded. The standoff lasted 11 days.

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