Friday, April 20, 2007

The Liviu Librescu Controversy?

The American public has the unique ability to make a controversy out of anything...

The only truly uplifting story to come from this whole tragedy at VA Tech (well, uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time) is the retelling of the heroic actions of visiting Israeli Professor, Liviu Librescu. A Holocaust survivor that used his body to block bullets while his students escaped through a classroom window.

"...Librescu headed for the door, blocking the gunman from entering. As shots rang out, he stood there.

That act of courage gave his class priceless seconds to escape, saving them from Cho Seung-Hui's deadly rampage. But not himself.

"He was able to teach his last lesson of bravery in the face of hatred," said Joe Librescu on Thursday, moments before leaving to meet his father's coffin at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport. Professor Librescu will be laid to rest Friday morning in a cemetery in Raanana, a suburb of Tel Aviv..." (source)

I am not ashamed to say that when I first heard/read about this man A few tears were shed. For someone to survive the Holocaust, survive being a Jew in your own country and then to knowing sacrifice yourself on a rural college campus...

What I was surprised to hear is that a mini-controversy is brewing over this. People are mad that the students accepted this sacrifice and allowed an ageing Holocaust survivor to give his life for them. That they should have protected him.

Given that in a high pressure situation, altruism was his innate instinct… I doubt he would have allowed it to go down any other way. And I can’t help but think of the glaring divide between the fundamentalist Muslim that will blow himself up taking numerous innocents with him --and the Holocaust surviving Jew that will be killed to save the innocents... What a wonderful legacy.

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