The Watertown Daily Times has published comments from the father of the two girls abducted last week in upstate New York.

Mose Miller has 14 children, and is one of the Heuvelton community‘s bishops.

In an interview with Johnson Newspapers in their Heuvelton home on Sunday, the girls’ father — Mose Miller, 44 — said he feels “sorry” for the suspects.

“It’s sad,” Mr. Miller said. “They must have ruined their whole life.”

Miller’s wife Barbara also commented:

“We feel relieved we have them. It’s still not like it was,” she said.

The couple did not express any anger toward the suspects, Mr. Howells and Ms. Vaisey.

The Miller girls’ kidnapping garnered national attention last week, with the girls returning home a little over 24 hours after being abducted.

Rather than reject the media, their parents have taken the opportunity to speak publicly about what happened. The girls’ older siblings also contribute to the article.

So does another adult in the community, who speaks about how the incident might change things:

Noah Yoder, a 35-year-old Amish father who lives near the Millers, said Amish families probably will be more cautious about their children coming into contact with strangers as a result of the incident, especially those who operate vegetable stands.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they would keep a little more eye on it,” Mr. Yoder said.

However, he said he didn’t believe the incident would damage relationships Amish families have developed with the non-Amish.

“We can’t be afraid of your people,” Mr.Yoder said as he spoke with a reporter outside his home Sunday afternoon.

Finally, Karen Johnson-Weiner, author of New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communites of the Empire State, talks about forgiveness, which she describes as “the truest expression of their faith.”

While the Amish may be forgiving to those who have harmed them, Mrs. Johnson-Weiner said, it doesn’t mean they simply move on as if nothing happened.

“They forgive. It doesn’t mean they forget,” she said.


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