Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The True Meaning of Resistance

Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor and Professor of Aeronautical Engineering, died Monday - Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) - when he employed his own body to prevent a crazed killer from shooting into his classrooom at Virginia Tech. The professor's sacrifice bought his students enough time to jump out the windows. All of Librescu's students survived.

Librescu's fate recalls that of Danny Lewin, the Israeli-American entrepreneur and IDF commando who died on 9-11. The FBI suspects Lewin was the passenger killed by the hijackers as they seized control of American Airlines Flight 11, the first aircraft to crash into the World Trade Center. Thus, Lewin was the first casualty of that terrible day.

May they rest in peace, and may we all learn from their example: this is the true meaning of "Resistance".

Update: Sigmund, Carl, & Alfred have a better and more detailed post on Librescu's sacrifice here.

Update 4/22/07: Solomon2 has a confession to make. It didn't ring a bell at first, but I remember that over twenty years ago, while I was attending engineering school, I met a man who said he was an aeronautical engineer from Romania. We were riding a bus in St. Louis. He said he was looking for a job in the States, and asked me pointed questions about my University and the local aerospace firms. I looked at him suspiciously and said very little. He smiled and fell silent.

I honestly thought the man was a nut, and maybe a spy. It was during the Cold War, after all. But it is quite possible that that man was Liviu Librescu.

I apologize for wronging you in my thoughts, Professor. You were the best.

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