Saturday, April 21, 2007


As a child, Liviu Librescu had survived the Holocaust. As an adult, he had survived persecution for defying Romania’s brutal communist regime during the Cold War. At last, with their children grown, he and his wife, Marlena, seemed to have found a safe haven on a quiet university campus in rural Virginia.

But on Monday, trouble found him once more. With bursts of gunfire rattling through the second floor of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech University, Librescu, 76, closed his classroom door and urged his students to escape out the windows, recalled senior Caroline Merrey of Baltimore, the third student to jump.

As they fled, Librescu held the door shut with his body as the gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, tried to force his way in.

Moments after the last student leapt to safety, Cho apparently succeeded in forcing the door open and shot Librescu to death.

“My father has showed a sense of his courage in standing up for what he believed since long ago,” said Joe Librescu, the professor’s son.

“Just one candle can light up a room filled with darkness. Professor Librescu has lit the entire world with hope, reminding us that heroes can still exist even in our dark times,” Evan Goldenthal of Toronto wrote on a page of tributes to the professor.

"He and my mom led a simple life in a pastoral place in Virginia, between hills and mountains, and he loved the school in which he taught," said Joe Librescu, who is a Virginia Tech alumnus.

In Israel, Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Your life isn't your own.

Philippians 1:27-30
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.


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