Friday, April 20, 2007

The Students who lived because Liviu(Life) Librescu fought the Killer

Peter Read the father of 19 year slain Mary Karen Read IMAGE: MARY KAREN READ takes the Journalistic Broadcast Media to task for their Ratings Gluttony:

  • As the Reads left Blacksburg on Thursday for their home in Annandale, they were exhausted, pale, heartbroken - and furious. On television, the overwhelming image of the tragedy was the face of Cho Seung-Hui - a killer whose name Peter Read cannot bring himself to speak.
  • "I want to issue a direct personal plea, to all the major media,'' he(Peter Read) told The Associated Press. "For the love of God and our children, stop broadcasting those images and those words. Choose to focus on life and the love and the light that our children brought into the world and not on the darkness and the madness and the death.''
  • ``We want the world to know and celebrate our children's lives, and we believe that's the central element that brings hope in the midst of great tragedy,'' Read said Thursday, with his wife, Cathy, at his side. ``These kids were the best that their generation has to offer.''
    from the Guardian
Peter Read's daughter, Mary Karen, was born in South Korea into an Air Force family and lived in Texas and California before settling in the northern Virginia suburb of Annandale.
Understandibly the Reads cna't talk about their grief over these past few days. as "It's too painful, too personal. The time is not yet right." Mr Read wisely hopes the focus will swing back to the children.
Mr. Read hits the target.  Focus on the Lives of these innocent victims and build a Monument to them and the Professor who saved students like them.....Dr. Liviu(Life) Librescu
Meanwhile, when the gunman left room 207, he headed to room 204 where Dr. Liviu Librescu was showing slides to engineering students. They heard the gunshots coming from room 207 but didn't believe it at first. "A steady pop, pop, pop, pop," student Richard Mallalieu told the Post. The gunfire was "more or less continuous." Then they heard the screams. At first, the students in 204 hit the floor, while the professor held the classroom door closed. Then the students opened the windows and started jumping out of the second story classroom onto the grass below. "It was scary," he said, "but it wasn't as panicked as you might think it was." When the gunman got into the classroom, he shot the remaining students, as well as Professor Librescu, who died. Mallalieu and the others who managed to jump out the window ran for safety to another classroom building. Mallalieu told the Post he heard about 40 shots coming from his room 204. from Netscape
another Report:
Inside Norris, the attack began with a thunderous sound from Room 206 - ``what sounded like an enormous hammer,'' said Alec Calhoun, a 20-year-old junior who was in a solid mechanics lecture in a classroom next door.
Screams followed an instant later, and the banging continued. When students realized the sounds were gunshots, Calhoun said, he started flipping over desks to make hiding places. Others dashed to the windows of the second-floor classroom, kicking out the screens and jumping from the ledge of Room 204, he said.
``I must've been the eighth or ninth person who jumped, and I think I was the last,'' said Calhoun, of Waynesboro, Va. He landed in a bush and ran.
Calhoun said that the two students behind him were shot, but that he believed they survived. Just before he climbed out the window, Calhoun said, he turned to look at his professor, who had stayed behind, apparently to prevent the gunman from opening the door.
The instructor was killed, Calhoun said.
Sydney Morning Herald
April 18, 2007
Romanian-born lecturer Liviu Librescu saved some of his students.
Romanian-born lecturer Liviu Librescu saved some of his students.
Photo: AP

Amid the horror at Virginia Tech were tales of heroism during the rampage, including an older professor - himself a Holocaust survivor - who gave his life to protect his students.

Romanian-born Liviu Librescu, a dual US-Israeli citizen, moved two decades ago to the United States where he taught in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Although he was 76, long past the usual retirement age, he was still teaching at Virginia Tech yesterday when chaos erupted in Norris Hall, the campus building where a gunman identified as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, opened fire, killing 30 people people before committing suicide.
Students described how the septuagenarian Librescu used his body to barricade the door against Cho so they could escape by jumping out the classroom's second-floor window. Some broke legs in the fall, but they survived. Librescu was shot to death during the rampage.
An impromptu shrine to the professor was set up on the campus, with flowers and his picture.
"He was an exceptionally tolerant man who mentored scholars from all over our troubled world," Ishwar Puri, his department head, said in a written statement released to the media.
"The people of Israel grieve with all who have been touched by this horrible tragedy and pray for the speedy and complete recovery of the wounded and for the families of those who lost their loved ones," Israel's ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor, said.
Julie Faith, 50, a Virginia Tech graduate whose son now attends the university, said Librescu's story moved her to tears. "That was an amazing story. That was what made me really lose it," she said.....
In a German class upstairs, a few students tried to barricade the door against the onslaught of bullets, and then tried to help their injured classmates while they waited for help, Trey Perkins, 20, told Fox News.
Of 15 students in his class, he said only about six came out alive...
Liviu Librescu survived the Nazi Holocaust. He died trying to keep a gunman from shooting his students in a killing spree at Virginia Tech -- a heroic feat later recounted in e-mails from students to his wife.

Librescu, an aeronautics engineer and teacher at the school for 20 years, saved the lives of several students by using his body to barricade a classroom door before he was gunned down in Monday's massacre, which coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

His son, Joe Librescu, The Associated Press on Tuesday that his mother received e-mails from students shortly after learning of her husband's death.

"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jumping out."

When Romania joined forces with Nazi Germany in World War II, the young Professor and engineer Librescu was interned in a labor camp, and then sent along with his family and thousands of other Jews to a central ghetto in the city of Focsani, his son said. Hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews were killed by the collaborationist regime during the war.
Librescu, who was 76 when he died, later found work at a government aerospace company. But his career was stymied in the 1970s because he refused to swear allegiance to the Communist regime, his son said, and he was later fired when he requested permission to move to Israel.
In 1977, according to his son, Israel's then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin personally intervened to get the family an emigration permit, and they left for Israel in 1978.
Librescu left Israel for Virginia in 1985 for a sabbatical year, but eventually made the move permanent, said Joe Librescu: "His work was his life in a sense."
The academic community in Romania also was mourning Librescu's death.
"It is a great loss," said Ecaterina Andronescu, rector of the Polytechnic University in Bucharest, where Librescu graduated with a degree in mechanics and aviation construction in 1953. "We have immense consideration for the way he reacted and defended his students with his life."
At the university, people placed flowers on a table holding his picture and a lit candle. "We remember him as a great specialist in aeronautics. He left behind hundreds of prestigious papers," said professor Nicolae Serban Tomescu.
Librescu, who specialized in composite structures and aeroelasticity, published extensively and received numerous awards for his work. He received a doctorate from the Bucharest-based Academy of Sciences in and an honorary degree from the Bucharest Polytechnic University in 2000.
He also received several NASA grants and taught courses at the University "La Sapienza" in Rome and at the Tel Aviv University in Israel.
This is not a biography, just a tribute and a testimony about how God uses all of us in his story, whether we fit the mold of traditional Christianity or not. Liviu Librescu was a Holocaust survivor. During WWII, Librescu was captured and interred in a labor camp in Moldova, and later was transferred to a Jewish ghetto in FocÂșani, Romania. Many Jewish people were killed during this time; more than 300,000 in Romania alone. But Librescu survived, became a successful engineer, and later emigrated to Israel with his wife, Marlena. They came to the United States in 1985 on a sabbatical, but ended up staying, partly because he was offered a job as a professor in the engineering department at Virginia Tech.
On Monday, when the shooter came to his classroom, 76-year-old Librescu barricaded the door with his body as he told his students to get out through the window. The shooter, not to be deterred, fired his gun over and over, bullets tearing through the door, tearing through Librescu's flesh, flesh that had been spared from the ravages of the Holocaust for such a time as this. He gave his life for his students, young men and women with potential for heroism perhaps on the same scale as their professor's. For what good would it be to survive anti-Semitic hatred, only to be selfish and save your own skin at the ulimate moment of truth?
No, Librescu had been saved for a fateful day at Virginia Tech, some 65 years later. All of his students escaped and survived. It was April 16th, the day of the Virginia Tech massacre. It was also Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Librescu was respected in his field, his son said.
"His work was his life, in a sense," said Joe. "That was a good place for him to practice his research.  Jerusulem Post
Indeed, Mary Karen Read's father is right and let us Focus on the Lives of these talented, promising sons and daughters who enriched the lives of the World that was theirs.  Let us Cherish them and the Man who saved many who would be death also if it were not for his Courage!  Build these People a Monuement and save Virginia Tech

Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
Check out new cars at Yahoo! Autos.


Post a Comment

<< Home