Published: Sat, January 14, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Steven McDonald, a symbol of unfathomable forgiveness

Steven McDonald, a symbol of unfathomable forgiveness

The shooting left McDonald a quadriplegic, but also turned him into a beacon of hope, inspiration, and forgiveness for all who've heard him speak.

This morning Fifth Avenue was closed as police officers and the NYPD Emerald Society prepared to process into the funeral Mass of Detective McDonald, which was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Instead, McDonald, who died Tuesday after a heart attack, became the embodiment of unfathomable forgiveness and touched so many lives.

"Thank you for everything that everyone has done for us, not just this last week but over the past 30 years".

Detective Steven McDonald of the New York Police Department, in wheelchair at right, participates in the 10th annual Father Mychal F. Judge Walk of Remembrance in New York in September 2011. McDonald eventually met with Jones' mother and attended services at a Baptist church in Harlem with members of Jones' family.

In a eulogy - one of four at the end of the funeral - Conor McDonald, now a New York City police sergeant, called his father a "real superman" who "did more than most able-bodied fathers".

'I forgive him and hope that he can find peace and goal in his life'.

"Since that fateful day in 1986, Steven dedicated his life to fighting hate and encouraging forgiveness through his actions", PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. He struck McDonald three times, shattering his spine and permanently paralyzing him.

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"His words encouraged all of us to continue to bring police and communities closer together", de Blasio, who joined McDonald's family at his bedside Tuesday, said in a statement later that day.

"He was synonymous with all that is great about our police department and city", Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the funeral. How he dealt with that life-altering encounter in Central Park inspired thousands.

NYPD Commissioner O'Neill said McDonald carved out a model for others to follow.

A year after announcing he forgave Jones, McDonald sent him stamps and a box of stationary with another message to "carry on a dialogue".

Ironically, Jones was fatally hit by a vehicle, three days after he was released from prison in September 1995.

McDonald, who lived in Malverne, Long Island, in a house that had been specially outfitted to serve his needs, continued to visit other civic and religious groups.

The funeral for NYPD Det. They made peace trips to Northern Ireland. Then, as a lone piper played incredible grace, the coffin was carried inside.

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