I read an article online at Yahoo News today and felt it appropriate to give honor to an amazing woman who lived through and sacrified everything during most horrible times.
WARSAW (Reuters) - Irena Sendler, 98, a Polish woman who saved thousands of Jewish children during World War Two by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, died in the Polish capital on Monday after a long illness, local media said.
Using her position as a social worker, Sendler regularly entered the ghetto, smuggling around 2,500 children out in boxes, suitcases or hidden in trolleys. The children were then placed with Polish families outside the ghetto, created by Nazi Germany in 1940 for the city's half a million strong Jewish population, and given new identities.
But in 1943 Sendler, who led the children' section of the Zegota organization which helped Jews during the war, was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo. She only escaped execution when Zegota managed to bribe some Nazi officials, who left her unconscious but alive with broken legs and arms in the woods.
She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year but, despite her bravery, she denied she was a hero. "The term 'hero' irritates me greatly. The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience that I did so little," Sendler said in one of her last interviews.
Reading this article gave new meaning to some words for me: Integrity. Love. Standing-up-for-the-weak. Sacrifice. Making-a-difference. Persecution. Honor.
Irena Sendler. Thank you. We will not forget.