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17 April 2007 @ 03:53 am
His memory WILL be a blessing  

I'm on my lunch break. I just saw this item.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Israeli Professor Killed in US Shooting
"…a 75-year-old [Holocaust] survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday's shooting at Virginia Tech college.
"Professor Liviu Librescu threw himself in front of the shooter, who had 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."

I'm somehow extra stunned by this bit of news, although I couldn't tell you why.

Current Mood: shockedstunned
Geri Sullivangerisullivan on April 17th, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)
Yep. Extra stunned.

For me, I think it's the layering effect. The immediacy of current horror layered on the far greater horror past. Heroism and tragedy, all mixed together. The detail also makes the whole thing much more personal, intimate.
songs in the key of me: Cloud in Churchchorus on April 17th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC)
I find that rather than stunned, I am not a bit surprised. It sounds just like what someone who had that experience would do. I'm as sorry for his death as I am the rest of them, of course -- no one should have to die like that -- but that he was brave enough to do such a thing and motivated to, that seems somehow right.

Someone who went through the Holocaust probably has a far deeper understanding of all the good reasons to stand up to madmen, despite the cost, than anyone who has not had a similar circumstance.
aszanoni on April 17th, 2007 11:26 am (UTC)
Agreed. I have only read about the Holocaust. It is not a taste in my mouth, not a scent I cannot forget, not a picture my eyes will always see. It is composed of images others have offered me. Writers like Jane Yolen have created stories for which I wept...

I wish I had words enough for this professor's bravery. And for his gift.

- Chica
Alice, Sweet Alice: Tired Alicesweetalice on April 17th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Wow... I really can't put into words how I feel about this news.

I share the other sentiments expressed -- that in this horrible, senseless situation, it makes sense that this man would respond so heroically.

Liana: rainytezliana on April 17th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
Baruch dayan ha'emet.
I am stunned and saddened by this event, but Professor Librescu's actions add to that only in the sense that he was one of a very few who stood up to the attacker. So many people dead and injured, when they knew what was coming. Have we as a nation already forgotten September 11 and Flight 93? People still talk about 9/11 with some frequency, but does anyone still think on what it means?
(Deleted comment)
Lianatezliana on April 17th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Baruch dayan ha'emet.
I agree that most people are initially inclined to freeze when confronted. But making a decision to act does not necessarily require prior training. Anyone can have the mindset to not be a victim.
(Deleted comment)
DrSdocstrange on April 17th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Baruch dayan ha'emet.
I don't blame the victims. I admire those who acted to save others, even if they were also helping themselves, rather than freezing or fleeing alone. They represent the best of us.

If in the midst of the sorrow, I have disappointment, it is only that there are not more of the best of us.
et in Arcadia egoboo: Israel flag broken heartapostle_of_eris on April 17th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
. . . two days after Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah (the day established to remember the Holocaust and the six million Jews who perished on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising)

His sanctification of the Name assures him of a great share in the world to come.
gomeza on April 17th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
While I am saddened by the professor's death, I had not until this moment heard that ANYONE at VT had resisted. And unfortunate though the outcome may be, I find this news encouraging.
kip_wkip_w on April 17th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for telling me about this.
dd-bdd_b on April 17th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm especially pleased that it worked; that the killer didn't just step over the body and start shooting the students too. It wouldn't lessen his bravery any if it hadn't worked, but it's nicer that it did.

And I think this *is* the first instance I remember being reported of anybody there resisting. If all the students in the first classroom had rushed the shooter, it would probably have ended right there. But nobody (quite sensibly) really wants to be first; the optimum outcome for each person is for everybody else to rush the shooter.