Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Heartwarming Story

Today I encountered this moving story on tumblr:

"Meet Irena Sendler (1910-2008)

She was a 98 year-old Polish woman at her time of death. During World War II, Irena worked in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. She dedicated herself to smuggle Jewish children out. Infants were carried in the bottom of the tool box she used and older children in a burlap sack she had in the back of her truck.

She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids’ and infants’ noises. Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children during this time

She eventually was caught and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and in a glass jar buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited some of the families but most had been killed. She then helped those children get placement into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007, Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected.

Al Gore won for presenting a slide show on Global Warming."

Now I'm all for Global Warming and awareness over it, but really? The woman risked her life and saved over 2,000 children. Not only that, she went far above and beyond the call of duty by then looking after these children by either trying to reunite them with their families (remember, this was before internet, so she couldn't just "google" their names and see if they were alive or not), and if they weren't she found them a new loving household for these children.

Sure Al Gore's work for Global Warming is important and everything, but he was just piggy backing onto an already growing phenomenon, while Irena Sendler saw a huge injustice taking place in the world around her and put everything on the line to help. Even after she was caught by the Nazis, that didn't stop her from continuing until she saw her mission complete. How is it that she has not been recognized for her wonderful actions when Al Gore gets rewarded for furthering his career with a PowerPoint presentation?

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