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Monday, February 11, 2008

Signs of life

This is not the normal political fare in this blog, and I strongly suggest that you keep tissues handy while reading it, because it's an amazing story. On March 21, 2002, a 'Palestinian' suicide bomber blew himself up on King George Street in downtown Jerusalem. Three people were killed - including a young couple in their twenties who were just told at an ultrasound that the wife was pregnant with twins after several years of a childless marriage. Eighty-seven people were wounded, including a father and a seven-year old son. This is the story of the father and son. It will give you some idea of what survivors go through after a suicide bombing, because for survivors, the bombing the beginning of the story, and not its end. The story will also inspire you.
"It was a cold, miserable winter day, the week before Pesach, and Yehonathon hadn't been feeling well. That's how this whole thing started -- he had a strep throat, he could hardly speak. I'd just taken him to the doctor and had a prescription in my pocket -- I was going to stop off at the pharmacy to have it filled -- and the two of us were on our way home, walking hand-in-hand along King George.

"The guy blew up three feet behind us.

"I didn't see Yehonathon fall down. I was pushed forward by the shock wave. Picture someone pushing you powerfully from behind and you have no control. I was thrown like a sack of potatoes about five meters forward and the next thing I knew, I saw that my arm was bleeding.

"I knew what had happened; it didn't take much to figure it out. I got up and turned around.

"The initial experience was of a complete, total silence. And perfect stillness. Everything was in smoke, like a fog, and I couldn't see anything. Nothing was moving. It was surreal. There was no sound.

"People around the corner had heard a massive explosion, but in the immediate zone of the bombing where all the air was blown out, there was no sound. We had heard nothing.

"I looked for him and couldn't find him. Then I saw him, lying face-down on the sidewalk. I lifted him under the arms and held him up high in front of me, his legs dangling, to look at him. He was moaning. That was the first sign of life.

"I ran with him away from the site of the bombing and put him down on the sidewalk. Two policemen were already there, and a group of people had gathered around, wanting to help. Yehonathon was moaning but not fully responsive. I saw that they were taking care of him so I ran back to get my bag with my cell-phone so I could call Revital. Everything was upside down. I couldn't hear and I was screaming into the phone. I told her we'd been in the bombing and they were taking care of us. When I was kneeling next to Yehonathon, trying to speak to her, there was a man -- I still don't know who he was, though he's in one of the pictures -- who treated my arm for me.

"They put him on a stretcher. He was the first one to be put in an ambulance -- it was the first ambulance to arrive on King George. I started to climb in but they closed the door and started pulling out -- they didn't know who I was. I screamed, 'Ani ha aba! I'm the father!' and they stopped and let me in, and we took off for the hospital.

"In the ambulance, the medics stripped Yehonathon down but couldn't find anything wrong. There was no outward sign of anything on his body. He was oscillating now between being totally quiet and flailing his arms around and screaming, but the medics still couldn't find anything wrong, so that's when they checked the towel under his head.

"It was totally drenched with blood.

"It was a lifetime, that ride in the ambulance. All of Jerusalem passed by me through the window. I remember how the glass was speckled with rain.

"I had to call Revital again -- I had to tell her where they were taking us -- but all the lines were down. All over Jerusalem people were calling their loved ones. So from the time I made that first call to her, from the site of the bombing, until I called her from the hospital, Revital went through 25 minutes, not knowing what the situation was.
Read the whole thing.


At 11:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. What a contrast, the love of these parents for their child versus the despicable evil of the terrorists who send their children to be blown up.

At 4:29 AM, Blogger heroyalwhyness said...

From the article:" ask Avraham Bauer if he ever asks God why they had to go through this. He thinks for several moments, then replies:

"In any situation such as this, you ask, 'Why did this happen?' And you can answer it in one of three ways.

"The first answer is, 'It was a random event. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.'

"The second is, 'It happened because of the Arabs; Arabs have the power to hurt people.' "

A part of me wants to add . . .It happened because of the Arabs; Arabs are 'given' the power to hurt people by those holding office in our government. Otherwise they would wake from the hypnotic wishful thinking of the so-called 'peace process' and take real measures to bring true peace.


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