Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Hero of Virginia Tech

Liviu Librescu, 76, an engineering science and mechanics lecturer. He was born in Romania, immigrated to Israel in 1978 and moved to Virginia in 1985.

An Israeli citizen, he had taught at Virginia Tech for 20 years and was internationally known for his work in aeronautical engineering.

"His research has enabled better aircraft, superior composite materials, and more robust aerospace structures," said Ishwar Puri, the head of the engineering science and mechanics department.

Librescu's son, Joe, said his father's students sent e-mails detailing how the professor saved their lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot.

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

That gave me goosebumps. We should all have such cojones. But we don't (yes, spectators of the Kevin Aviance beating, I'm lookin' at you).

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