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Ruby Ridge Survivor Sara Weaver Receives 2024 Woman of Courage Award from Bonner County Republican Women Inc

The Bonner County Republican Women Inc. (BCRWI) honored Sara Weaver, author of “Ruby Ridge to Freedom,” as the 2024 Woman of Courage (WOC) award recipient. The award ceremony was held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at a well-attended luncheon at the Elks Lodge in Ponderay, ID, where community members gathered to celebrate her remarkable resilience and strength.

The event highlighted Sara Weaver’s transformation from a survivor of national tragedy to an author and peace advocate. Her book, Ruby Ridge to Freedom, captures this transformation and offers insights into healing and forgiveness.

Sara Weaver Speaking to BCRWISara Weaver's life story is a profound testament to strength and grace. She survived the harrowing Ruby Ridge standoff in 1992, a federal siege that began on August 21 and led to the tragic deaths of her 14-year-old brother, Sam, and her unarmed mother, Vicki Weaver. This confrontation stemmed from what was later considered a flawed federal attempt to arrest Sara's father, Randy Weaver, over firearms violations, exacerbated by a mistaken court date as documented in a 1994 U.S. Department of Justice report.

During the luncheon, Sara shared her journey of trauma incurred from standing next to her mother when she was shot and killed at Ruby Ridge to becoming an advocate for peace and understanding. Despite the profound losses and the injustices she experienced, Sara's story is one of remarkable forgiveness.

Much of her speech to the group emphasized her growth after becoming a Christian and learning forgiveness through prayer and Bible Study. She stressed the example of Christ by quoting the scriptures that led her to her faith,

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son. That whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  ..... John 3:16

"For God did not send His Son, Jesus, into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."   ..... John 3:17

Sara's Husband Marc BalterSara continues to support law enforcement, distinguishing the actions of the individuals involved at Ruby Ridge from the broader community of those in uniform. This remarkable spirit of forgiveness and resilience were key reasons she was chosen for this year's BCRWI Woman of Courage award.

Victoria Quinn, BCRWI President, commented on Sara's selection:

"We look for women to honor who have overcome tough challenges while holding to their faith and conservative values. Sara serves as an outstanding role model who exemplifies the principles upon which our country was founded."

Sara's husband, Marc Balter prayed for Sara and her message throughout her speech to the Republican group.  This is his practice whenever Sara makes an appearance.  He and Sara sell handmade woven rugs and her book. You can find both at her website, Ruby Ridge to Freedom or their Etsy Store.

In the years following Ruby Ridge, Sara has dedicated herself to sharing her story and advocating for a deeper understanding of the events and their impact. She speaks passionately about the importance of community, faith, and the human capacity to rise above adversity. Sara does not harbor resentment against law enforcement as a whole but instead emphasizes that the actions of a few do not represent the entirety.

The BCRWI has honored women with the Woman of Courage title by recognizing those who embody courage and a commitment to conservative values. Past recipients include distinguished individuals such as Dorothy Moon, Chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party, and the late Dr. Pamela Bird, a renowned author, inventor, pilot, and businesswoman.

More about Sara Weaver's biography

Vicki Weaver holding her daughter Sara

Sara Weaver, born on March 16, 1976, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is the eldest daughter of Randy and Vicki Weaver, and became widely known due to the tragic events of the 1992 Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge. At just 16, Sara experienced profound loss when her mother, Vicki, and younger brother, Sam, were killed during the intense 11-day standoff at her family's home in Boundary County, Idaho . Standing beside her mother when she was fatally shot by an FBI sniper, Sara faced unimaginable trauma that has shaped her life.

Despite these harrowing experiences, Sara's journey has been one of remarkable resilience and transformation. At the age of 18, she courageously testified before the U.S. Senate hearings on Ruby Ridge, navigating intense media scrutiny and public attention. The aftermath of the siege left Sara grappling with deep depression and PTSD, challenges she has worked diligently to overcome.

Sara attributes her enduring strength and emotional healing to her faith in God. She believes that forgiveness, through her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, has been the cornerstone of her recovery. This spiritual foundation has allowed her to let go of the pain and resentment from her past and find peace.

As a published author and sought-after speaker, Sara shares her message of hope and forgiveness with the world. Her book, "From Ruby Ridge to Freedom," accounts her journey and offers insights into finding freedom from life's deepest wounds. Through her public speaking, she helps others find the courage to begin their own healing. 

Her book "From Ruby Ridge to Freedom," details the tragic events from her perspective and her subsequent path to forgiveness and peace. Her writing offers a poignant reflection on the power of resilience and the importance of moving beyond past traumas. Sara’s journey is not just one of survival but of overcoming the desire for retribution and instead choosing a path of understanding and love.

Sara is deeply passionate about educating others on the lessons from Ruby Ridge, advocating for a future where such tragedies are prevented. Her story is a testament to the power of faith and forgiveness, illustrating that even the darkest experiences can lead to profound personal growth and a mission to inspire and educate others.

In recognition of her extraordinary courage and her commitment to fostering forgiveness and understanding, the Bonner County Republican Women Inc. honored Sara with the 2024 Woman of Courage Award. This accolade acknowledges not just her past experiences but her ongoing efforts to inspire others through her story. Sara’s life stands as a testament to the power of enduring faith and the human spirit's capacity for resilience and transformation.


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