Forgiveness comes for those who may not deserve it, as the parents of a slain Pennsylvania State Trooper announce publicly that they have forgiven their sons alleged killer. At a church in the same Pocono Mountain area his alleged killer roamed for 48 days Bryon and Darla Dickson stated they would rely on their deep faith and professed forgiveness to help their hearts mend and move on.
“It doesn’t do you any good to hate somebody for whatever they have done to you, because all it does is eat you up. And in the end, what does it do for you? Absolutely nothing,” said Bryon Dickson.
Eric Frein, the 31 year-old man charged with the September 12th ambush and murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson II and the critical injury of Trooper Alex Douglas, proclaimed that he was an anti-governmental survivalist. Leading police on a six-week manhunt throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, Frein was eventually apprehended by the US Marshalls Service outside of an abandoned airplane hangar, approximately 30 miles from the location where the alleged murder took place. Frein has now pled not guilty, but prosecutors are still seeking the death penalty.
Darla Dickson told The Associated Press that she would be willing to accept whatever punishment the justice system imposed upon Frein if he is convicted.
“Justice lays behind us at the grave, where my son’s body is buried,” she said. “And Eric Frein is chained to that place of justice. He has to be held accountable for what he has done.”
As Mrs. Dickson stood in front of the congregation that Sunday morning, she recalled that “moment” every parent dreads; a knock on the door in the early morning hours. Their knock came at 2:30 a.m., three or more hours after the incident transpired, when a fellow Trooper and the department chaplain delivered the heart-wrenching news that her son had been killed in the line of duty.
“What I experienced was just a disbelief beyond degree,” she said from the stage of Community Church in Tobyhanna. “It was very surreal. I just could not even wrap my mind around it.” She does admit that forgiveness has not been easily given to Frein, who authorities claim had no prior contact with either her son or Douglass.
“There were days when we had to get up, and it was difficult to set one foot in front of the other and face the world,” she said. It seems their Christian faith has brought the greatest comfort — knowing that God forgives everyone, and so must we.
“Not keeping a record of wrongdoing gives you hope for tomorrow, a sense of love that displaces all evil in the world,” Darla Dickson said.
The couple decided to speak out to their follow parishioners during a church celebration entitled “Blue Sunday” as the entire congregation pays tribute to the entire law enforcement community. The pastor, David Crosby, Jr., invited several State Police Troopers and local Police Chiefs on stage to the rousing applaud and cheers from the hundreds in attendance.
He then prayed for their continued safety and protection, as well as for the “healing and restoration” of those affected by the Baltimore riots.
Darla Dickson also told the AP that she no longer even thinks about Frein, instead focusing all her attention toward her son, a 38 year-old Marine veteran and his wife and two young sons.
“I miss my son. I grieve for him,” she said. “But it’s not the kind of grief that the rest of the world carries. I have that hope that I will see him again.”