During the closing ceremony of the 14th World Cultural Festival of the Martyrdom's Spring, which was held on Tuesday afternoon in Holy Shrine of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him), there was a speech by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Golnek from USA, which stated:
"Allow me to express my sincere thanks to His Eminence Grand Sayed. Ali Al-Sistani, to the Senior Officials and to the General Secretariats of the Imam al-Hussayn's (p) and al-Abbas's (p) holy shrines, to the organizing committee of this historic festival and to all those who worked hard to host your guests from all over the world. We clearly felt the love and warmth of the Iraqi people, which were expressed with warm welcome and hospitality. "
"I wanted to visit Iraq for many years but I did not have the opportunity, so I was delighted when I was invited to participate in this great festival held on this historic occasion this year. And although my doctor did not want me to participate because I was recovering from a traffic accident, I begged him to allow me to attend because of the unique importance of this occasion, and because my doctor, by chance, was of Iraqi origin, he straightway understood the importance of this invitation."
He continued: "Once my plane landed in the airport of Najaf, I was not ready to all that I would see, as after visiting the holy shrine of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) in Najaf, we were on the way from Najaf to Karbala. As you know, we saw along this road pictures of the Iraqi citizens killed by ISIL. I knew through news the estimated statistics of those who sacrificed themselves, but when I saw the faces of each of the victims, they entered deep into my heart, I thought that each of them had a mother or wife who cried on them, and many of them had children will raise orphans. And then we arrived in Karbala, the land of martyrdom, sacrifice and heroism, in this place, I was received with the warmth and love of the Iraqi people, a people who have discovered the ability to express love and friendship in the midst of grave tragedies."
Indicating: "During the days we spent with you here, one phrase was repeated in my mind over and over again: the victory of blood over the sword."
"If I understand the meaning of this sentence correctly, I think that the greatest victory is not the killing of our enemies, but when we are ready to sacrifice our lives for the love of others, asking The Most-Clement to forgive mankind, this is the lesson that I learned from the martyrdom of al-Hussayn (peace be upon him), who could ask help from God to kill his enemies but rather chose to sacrifice his life for the sake of love and forgiveness, and this is the greatest victory."
"As a believer of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), I see this love in Christ, Christians believe that he sacrificed his life with love for the sake of forgiveness for mankind. The Holy Bible says that when his enemies came to kill him, he said: Do you think I can not now ask The Lord to send me more than twelve armies of angels? "But he sacrificed his life with love, saying in his prayer:" Forgive them because they do not know what they do. "
Concluding: "This is the kind of love that is not understood by a ISIL, but I am convinced that this kind of love, the love that renounces revenge even if you are right, the love that sacrifices itself for others and for forgiveness, this love is the secret of breaking the demonic circle formed of violence and hatred that seek to destroy our world today, and I think I saw this kind of love in the faces of Iraqis here in the holy Karbala, thank you for this valuable gift."