Virginia Tech Hero Professor Liviu Librescu was buried in Ra’anana today in a funeral attended by some 200 friends, family members, foreign diplomats and others who came to pay their respects. Even before the burial, Librescu was eulogized all across the world.
At a Holocaust Memorial ceremony Wednesday, in Washington DC, attended by US President George W. Bush, the president praised Librescu, a Holocaust survivor. “That day we saw horror, but we also saw quiet acts of courage. We saw this courage in a teacher named Liviu Librescu. With the gunman set to enter his class, this brave professor blocked the door with his body while his students fled to safety,” Bush stated. “On the Day of Remembrance, this Holocaust survivor gave his own life so that others may live. And this morning we honor his memory and we take strength from his example.” The funeral began Wednesday with a memorial ceremony at a funeral home in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. At the service, NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said, “He gave his life for his students. It is the ultimate sacrifice, and the ultimate goodness, after all that he went through in his life.” At the burial in Israel, Librescu’s family was presented with the Order of the Star of Romania for his bravery and his contributions to science. The award was presented for Librescu’s bravery and contributions to science on behalf of Romanian President Traian Basescu.
Librescu’s wife, Marlena, mourned the loss of “not just a husband, but my best friend.”
“I was blessed to be with him each day for 42 years – to learn from his wisdom, to receive his advice – and I thank you for giving me our two children. I’m now blessed to be with them,” said Librescu’s wife, Marlena. “I ask forgiveness from you for every time I upset you. I hope you will protect your family from where you reside now,” she said, adding, “I have only the good left from you…. May it go easy for you, my sweetheart.”
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According to Librescu’s wife, lighting Shabbat candles was his favorite mitzvah.Speaking at the ceremony, Librescu’s son Joe lamented the questions he had never asked his father. “They’re asking me today about your past, and I don’t know what to tell them,” he said. “I’m proud of you. I walk today with [my] head held high.”
“Sometimes I didn’t hear you, but my hears are now wide open to your legacy,” he went on. “I’m doing my best, reaching to the moon – I know I can reach it because of you.”
The professor’s other son, Aryeh, said his father had “always said to be strong.” “Father, I believe that at this moment you’re looking down on us from above and saying, what is all this crowing around? I only did what I had to do. From our childhood, you taught us to care for people, to work hard to succeed, but you never taught us to be heroes. It is more theoretical a lesson than aerodynamics,” he said. “A hero must have the right combination of certain attributes, and you had them.” According to Aryeh, his father “used every spare minute to do what he loved.” Speaking of his father’s teaching, Librescu said that “the courses in aerodynamics have ended. On the 16th of the month, you started a new career, teaching a new subject – heroism – [which] millions of students are learning.” Arye thanked family, friends and neighbors in Israel and around the world for all they had done for the family – and particularly for his mother – in their time of loss. He added special thanks for “a righteous man [from] an organization, Chabad, who drove five hours to mother and made sure the body would come to Israel as soon as possible.” The man in question, Rabbi Danny Cohen, who is a Chabad representative in Hebron and a close friend of Aryeh Librescu, said at the funeral that “[Librescu’s] last act lit a fire of unity throughout the world. This evening, tens of thousands of Jewish women will light Shabbat candles especially at the request of his wife [Marlena].”May I suggest that we heed Marlena Librescu’s wish. Light Shabbos candles tonight to help bring the light of goodness into the world, even if it is not your normal practice. It would be a beautiful way to honor this survivor who through one heroic act brought the light of goodness down from heaven.
This story was compiled from:
Professor Slain in Virginia Tech Massacre Laid to Rest in Israel JPOST Virginia professor’s son: I walk today with my head high ARUTZ SHEVA