On Monday, in Israel, a two minute siren was sounded at 10am to honor those who were killed in the Holocaust. On Monday, on the campus of Virginia Tech, 10am passed filled with the sirens from the police and ambulances, the sobs of the frightened and mourning, and the silence of 33 dead.
Dr. Librescu, I honor you, your life, and the ultimate sacrifice that you made so that others may live. I honor the families whose hearts were shattered when the lives of their loved ones were taken. I honor the ones who are gone who perhaps in their last moments held the hand of someone near, lay their bodies over another to try and give protection, said a prayer for all who were killed or injured or frightened, and perhaps even offered a prayer for the family of the young man who inflicted such horror. I honor the ones who died in fear, who died alone, who died without any clue as to what was about to happen.
For Dr. Librescu:
You gathered incredible strength
in order to die
to seem calm and fully conscious
without complaint, without trembling
without a cry
so that I would not be afraid.
from "To My Father" by Blaga Dmitrova
For everyone whose life was lost at Virginia Tech on Yom HaShoah, 2007/5767:
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Dirge Without Music, by Edna St. Vincent Millay