[April 19] Liviu Librescu, The Hero. Everybody's Hero
YORK / America was the first to name him The Hero; Israel,
his adoption country, named him "Our Hero"; Romania,
his native country, named him Hero also and gave him the highest
distinction; the Romania's Parliament honoured him today with
a minute of silence. Liviu Librescu has become Everybody's
Hero, the greatest Honor somebody can get, above any medal
or State Funerals.
National order The Star of Romania, awarded to Liviu Librescu
Despite the strongest political turmoil
taking place these days, (actual President may be suspended
today by Parliament), in his darkest moments, President Basescu
has found the time to award, at once, to Liviu Librescu Romania's
highest distinction. We are all grateful for that to him and
It was a moment who reminds me of the raining
evening from "The $2 mil. Tip" movie: an undercover
reporter who pretend to be a street man has found a hot meal
from the pair of lovers, the night before they expect to loose
their restaurant. Next day, his touching article has opened
the hearts of Americans which flowded them later with small
cheques, helping them to keep their dream.
A community in tears said its goodbye on Thursday from
one of its members, Romanian born professor Liviu Librescu,
killed in the Virginia Tech massacre, helping his students
flee to safety in an act of heroism.
A moving service was held for Librescu in New
York, before his body left for Israel. "He was always, always
helping," a tearful Marlena Librescu, 71, said yesterday after
a brief funeral service in a Brooklyn chapel. "I can't be
surprised because that's who he was." "We tried to get him
to the back of the classroom with us, but he insisted on staying
by the door," Andrey Andreyev wrote.
Bush lauded Librescu yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum. Ironically, the professor gave his life on
the day set aside annually to remember the Jewish genocide.
"On the Day of Remembrance, this Holocaust survivor gave his
own life so that others might live. And this morning we honor
his memory, and we take strength from his example," Bush said.
Librescu's heroism was the last feat in a remarkable
lifetime. He survived the ghetto in his native Romania and
later became a refuse.nik under the Communists. After being
harassed by the secret police, he was finally allowed to move
to Israel in 1978. Six years later he relocated to the U.S.,
going to Virginia, where his engineering research into composite
materials helped build better planes and space rockets.
Photo: Liviu Librescu
"I wasn't there at the last moments, but I truly
think he was killed because he was trying to help his students,
like he did throughout this semester," Yang Kim, a student,
wrote in an e-mail. Yesterday's funeral service was held after
Chesed Shel Emes, a Jewish group based in Borough Park, Brooklyn,
arranged for traditional handling of Librescu's body.
Close to 300 people who never met the hero instructor
packed the small Orthodox chapel. Inside, Assemblyman Dov
Hikind (D-Brooklyn) called him "a hero of the Jewish people."
His coffin was flown last night to Israel, where he'll be
buried tomorrow in the town of Raanana. Chaim Weiner, the
chief cantor of the Israeli Army, will preside over the service.
Dumnezeu Sa-l odihneasca in Pace!
born Hero Liviu Librescu received Highest Award
born and Holocaust survivor saved Students' Lives
Romanian Gymnastics News Archive.