EDIT-OPED

Steve McDonald's prayer

EDITORIAL

NY Daily Newsmercredi 11 janvier 2017
Steven McDonald never had the chance for the lengthy NYPD career that he, a third-generation cop, had imagined. Instead, McDonald -- who died Tuesday at the age of 59 -- turned a tragedy delivered to him in the cruelest manner into an opportunity to uplift a beleaguered city.
It was July 1986. McDonald, just two years on the job, was investigating a bicycle theft in Central Park. Stopping three youths, he barely had a chance to begin searching them for weapons when one pulled out a firearm and shot the then-29-year-old cop.
McDonald awoke in the hospital, three bullets having done irreparable damage.
Left a quadriplegic, he would rely from that day forward on a wheelchair to move, and on a ventilator to breathe and speak. McDonald's wife was three months pregnant; he would never be able to throw his son in the air or play catch.
Most men dealt this fate would burn with bitterness. McDonald, animated by Catholic faith and almost superhuman grace, let love lead him.
"On some days, when I am not feeling very well, I can get angry," he admitted in a letter to the people of New York just weeks after he was cut down. "But I have realized that anger is a wasted emotion, and that I have to remember why I became a police officer."
Of the young man who shot him, he said, "I forgive him and hope that he can find peace and purpose in his life."
The message was unmistakable: Even in a city where the police daily battled brutal violence, cops at their best were not warriors but healers.
McDonald would go on to speak around the world about hatred, intolerance and forgiveness. And here at home, the deep decency of his example made him a patron saint of sorts for the police department that loved him, and that he loved.
Conor, the son who never saw him walk, joined the NYPD in 2010. Two years ago, Steven lived to see him earn his detective's shield. And so, the very finest of the Finest continue to lift us up through the generations. Which is why, rest assured, Steven McDonald rests in peace.
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