True Hero

I deal with current events, politics, and so forth on a daily basis, very intensely, and part of the reason I started Pretty/Modest - aside from the actual mission statement there under my name - was to give me a chance to get away from all of that and check out and promote talented artists and help you find lovely things for yourself and those you love. But what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech is beyond horrible. Yesterday I think we were all in shock, and frankly, we didn't have enough information to really be able to logically discuss what happened; today, though, it has begun to settle in.

In the midst of the horror, though, we find hope - in the story of Professor Liviu Librescu, a man whose name should be ingrained upon our hearts as not only a brilliant, accomplished husband, father, and scientist, but as a hero.

"Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom.The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio.

"Several of Librescu's other students sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he had blocked the gunman's way and saved their lives, said Librescu's son, Joe.

"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jumping out."

"...Librescu was sent to a labor camp in Russia as a child and saved by the townspeople. His father was deported by the Nazis.

"As a scientist working under Nicolae Ceaucescu's oppressive regime, Librescu was forbidden to have any contact with sources outside Romania. He defied the ban, continuing to publish scientific articles secretly.

"His Zionist affinities eventually caused him to be forced out of his job. In 1978, the Librescus emigrated from Romania to Israel, where they raised two sons. In 1986, the family moved to Virginia for Librescu's sabbatical. While they only planned to stay in the United States a year, but (sic) have lived there ever since."

According to Haaretz, Librescu, after being sent to the labor camp, was sent to a ghetto in Foscani with other Jews. In Romania, he lost his job with a government aerospace company because he refused to swear allegiance to the Communists (good for him) and then requested that he be allowed to move to Israel. At that point, Israeli PM Begin managed to provide Librescu's family with an emigration permit, and in 1978, the Librescus escaped Romania.

He was a man who not only stood for what he believed despite the certain harm that would come to him, he gave his life so that others might live. The Bible tells us, "No greater love has any man than this: he gives his life for his friends." Such men are rare today, in a world that needs them more than ever. Mr. Librescu sacrificed his own life so his students would have a few more precious seconds to escape, and thus more precious time in which to live. He was a great man and a hero, and as such, deserves our honour and respect.

May God's love and comforting arms surround everyone affected by what happened at VT yesterday, and my heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to all of you.

(Note: Any political comments will be deleted. This is not the forum nor the time for such discussions. Thanks.)



Blogger Anne said...

What a touching story. I hope that each of his students will be as sacrificial in their love for others, and that if I was presented with such a situation, I would be able to do the same.

Blogger LisaBe said...

that's an amazing story--i'm so glad you shared it. i hadn't heard it yet. thanks.

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