the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

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Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The World Is Poorer Tonight

Tonight, the world is a poorer place, since the death earlier today of Irena Sendler. In the midst of World War II, in Nazi occupied Poland, Irena Sendler dared to risk her own life to save the lives of roughly 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. She was a social worker who stood up to the Nazi authorities and insisted on inspecting sanitary conditions in the ghetto.

On her visits there, she invented various ingenious ways of smuggling out babies, young children, and even teenagers. For those who do not know, in 1943, facing what they knew was certain death, the inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto began to fight back. Untrained, with only limited, smuggled weaponry, they managed to tie up an impressive number of supposedly superior German soldiers armed with all the powerful tools of death the Nazi state could give them.

Finally, the Nazis admitted they couldn't stand up to the Jews face to face, even with superior weapons to back them up, and they pulled back. They shelled and bombed the ghetto into ruins, then surged in with overwhelming force to pump deadly gas into the sewers and cellar holes where survivors might be hiding.

In other words, of those who lived in the Warsaw ghetto, there were very few survivors. Of that number, 2,500 and their descendants owe their lives to Irena Sendler. Later, arrested by the Gestapo, she stood up to their torture rather than betray the names of those who helped her, and bore the scars of that torture on her body until the day she died.

Although she lived in obscurity for most of her life, and was embarrassed at the attention she finally received in her old age when her story was remembered, this was a woman we could all learn from, a woman worthy of admiration. The world is always in desperate need of more people like her. Anyone who believes in goodness and decency should mourn her loss tonight.

As we mourn, I think she would approve of this advice: learn from her life, from her love, from her courage. Stand up to help the weak, rescue the endangered, and protect the persecuted. Do what you can to make the world a better place. Look up to the true heroes: they aren't the richest men among us, or the most beautiful women. They aren't business leaders or celebrities. They are quiet heroes, who do what they can and expect no reward. Irena Sendler, may you rest in peace.

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