David Goodman was 17 when his older brother Andrew was murdered on a dark, dusty Neshoba County roadside.

On Sunday, the 57-year-old New York native inexplicably declared that Mississippi “is a great state, a beautiful state.”

“I love to come here,” Goodman said, explaining that despite the fact his brother was killed less than 10 miles away from where he was standing, he feels completely safe and welcome in Philadelphia.

“I’ve read that people here still have a cloud of guilt hanging over them, but I don’t think of it that way,” Goodman said, explaining that he personally has made peace with his brother’s murder and has forgiven those who committed the crime.

“Maybe if I lived here, I’d feel the same way but I don’t see Mississippi and Philadelphia like that. People have always been very kind to us.”

Goodman said he hopes that by re-opening the investigation into the murder of his brother and of his friends Michael Schwerner and James Chaney and hopefully bringing those responsible to justice, Mississippi can find the same peace he now has.

“You have to move on,” he said. “You live through it, deal with it and go on.”

Explaining that he’s traveled to all 50 states and has had his faith in mankind re-affirmed with every visit.

“I’ve found that 99.9 percent of people are good and kind and decent,” he said.
Goodman, who helped clear away his mother Carolyn’s plate of fried catfish and hushpuppies before the two made their way to the coliseum stage for the 40th anniversary commemoration of Andrew’s murder, said he thinks the observance is “very important for Mississippi.”

“It’s important for this community and it’s important for the people who live here,” he said. “This is long overdue.”