A friend of mine sent me material that I was going to focus on today. However, events can change things.
One of those events is my new niece. It’s hard to write about death when such a new and irrepressible life enters the world. However, what started out as a celebration of life, almost ended in a preparation for a funeral. But for the grace of God, and modern technology, our family would have gathered today to mourn the loss of a sister. My sister.
Of course, almost is one of the biggest words in the English language, and I’m often thankful to God for it. I’ve had enough hairy almosts to fill several lifetimes, and my sister has added another to her own growing list.
(And people wonder why my hair is so white!)
But, there’s another reason why I couldn’t write what I had planned. That reason is Professor Liviu Librescu, an Israeli Holocaust survivor who gave his life in the finest tradition of Israelis everywhere – at Virginia Tech. On Holocaust Memorial Day.
I’ve always said that if you ever travel, travel with Israelis. They will be there for you when no one else will. A friend owes her life to a couple of Israelis, and a classroom full of students owe their’s to Dr. Librescu.
He threw himself in front of the gunman, so that his students could live.
He couldn’t have had much time to decide, and it’s in such a crucible of decision that our finest (and worst) qualities come forth. In that moment of time, Dr. Librescu showed himself to be the finest of men, and I’m sorry that it had to be shown in this way.