Liviu Librescu was one such person. Israeli citizen of Romanian descent. Holocaust survivor. 76 year old Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech, Prof. Librescu used his body to barricade the door to his classroom against one crazed, lone-gunman, intent on entering the lecture hall to continue his killing spree. Holding Cho Seung-hui, 23, at bay long enough to allow his students to jump out of the windows to safety, he was gunned down and killed, ironically, on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Librescu's wife received emails from some of those students describing how, in a selfless act of bravery, the Professor told them to flee, all the while struggling to keep Cho from entering through the door.
Not many are willing to sacrifice themselves, most aren't even inclined to step in to help someone else in need if it portends even the slightest amount of danger or trouble. Omar Wellington, a Canadian teen was viciously beaten to death, while people stood by and did absolutely nothing. For 9 months, no-one was even willing to come forward with information regarding the attack. There has finally been a major breakthrough in the case, and 6 teens were charged, but no-one is sharing details. And remember Kitty Genovese? The young New York woman who was raped and repeatedly stabbed to death, in 1964, while at least a dozen or more of her neighbours witnessed portions of the multiple attacks (that lasted 30 minutes), and felt it wasn't important enough to even bother calling the police? It wasn't until a few minutes after the final attack that witness Karl Ross bothered phoning the authorities. An unidentified neighbour, who finally got Ross to act, summed it up:
"I didn't want to get involved."
So, Rest in Peace, Liviu Librescu. Bless your courage and sacrifice! Bless you for getting involved.