Survivors

Photo of the Day

The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. Photo AP.

The bomb killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. Photo AP.

The Oklahoma City Bombing

On April 19, 1995, around 9:03 a.m., just after parents dropped their children off at day care at the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, the unthinkable happened.

A massive bomb inside a rental truck exploded, blowing half of the nine-story building into oblivion. A stunned nation watched as the bodies of men, women, and children were pulled from the rubble for nearly two weeks.

When the smoke cleared and the exhausted rescue workers packed up and left, 168 people were dead.

Prosecutor Joseph Hartzler began his opening statement in the Timothy McVeigh trial by reminding the jury of the terror and the heartbreak:? “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, April 19th, 1995, was a beautiful day in Oklahoma City — at least it started out as a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Flowers were blooming. It was springtime in Oklahoma City.

Sometime after six o’clock that morning, Tevin Garrett’s mother woke him up to get him ready for the day. He was only 16 months old. He was a toddler; and as some of you know that have experience with toddlers, he had a keen eye for mischief. He would often pull on the cord of her curling iron in the morning, pull it off the counter top until it fell down, often till it fell down on him. That morning, she picked him up and wrestled with him on her bed before she got him dressed. She remembers this morning because that was the last morning of his life….”

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Mary, Officer Paul and Laura.

Mary, Officer Paul and Laura.

How to Bring a Dead Man to Justice

We set out to dance on the grave of the grandfather who molested us as children. We never got there, but what happened instead changed our lives

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”?

Maya Angelou

When Mary Lovely and her cousin Laura Parrott-Perry were two little girls. They were both sexually abused by their grandfather from the time Mary was eight until she was fourteen and Laura was seven until she was nine.

Mary didn?t talk about it for 35 years.

She remembers being in the kitchen as a youngster around twelve and overhearing her parents talking with Laura?s dad.? In the midst of a bitter divorce, he was angry because Laura had told her mother she had been molested by her grandfather. Her mother believed her. He didn?t.

It was the first time Mary spoke up. ?I tried to communicate to my uncle and my parents that he had done that to me too, but the conversation didn?t go as I had thought it would,? she said. ?They asked me why I hadn?t told them before and then they were silent. My story was buttoned up, never mentioned again and that was the end of it. Why wouldn?t they listen to me? I thought it was because I was bad.?

The two cousins were kept apart from each other from then on. Laura never had to see that side of the family again. Mary continued to suffer the abuse until she was 14. Both said their grandfather had stolen the child within them and referred to themselves as ?ancient ruins? before they were ten.

?As abuse victims, we all continue to carry this dark, dark shame,? said Laura. ?We don?t want anyone to know about it. We are told it is ?unspeakable.?? So, you don?t speak about it and you carry it around in this little pocket in your heart and it infects everything. You leave it alone and it?s toxic.?

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Neerja Bhano, Neerja Bhanot was a hero after she bravely gave up her life in order to help save the lives of 360 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 73 in September 1986. Terrorists had boarded the plane, and wanted to use American passengers as leverage. Through Bhanot?s quick action the majority of the passengers were able to escape unharmed.

Neerja Bhanot was a hero after she bravely gave up her life in order to help save the lives of 360 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 73 in September 1986. Terrorists had boarded the plane, and wanted to use American passengers as leverage. Through Bhanot?s quick action the majority of the passengers were able to escape unharmed.

Not all Superheroes Wear Capes?

The hijacking of Pan Am flight 73 is considered one of the most brutal international terrorist attacks in the 1980s. Four heavily armed terrorists carrying assault rifles, grenades, plastic explosives and pistols passed Karachi airport security, and stormed Pan American Flight 73 from Bombay (now Mumbai) that had landed at Karachi early morning on Sept. 5, 1986.

Firing their weapons and manhandling a flight attendant, the hijackers took control of the Boeing 747-121 Jumbo Jet minutes before it was to fly off to Frankfurt, en route to New York.

Senior flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, was among the 380 passengers aboard. 360 of them lived to tell the world of her?calm courage and supreme sacrifice. The terrorists could have done anything to her, but Neerja, daughter of a Mumbai journalist Harish Bhanot, showed no fear.

Mere?hours before her 23rd birthday, Neerja Bhanot?turned to see the 4 heavily-armed terrorists boarding Pan Am flight 73. She?dashed to the cockpit to warn the pilots, but was caught by one of the hijackers, who?d grabbed her ponytail. Nevertheless, she managed to shout a secret ?hijack code? to the cockpit crew ? who, according to regulations, quickly evacuated, leaving the hundreds of?passengers and 19 flight?crew at the mercy of the 4 enraged?terrorists.

With the cockpit crew gone, and Neerja now the most senior?crew member?on the plane, took charge.?At the orders of the terrorists ? who were part of the Libya-backed Abu Nidal Organization ? she collected the passports of all the passengers, taking care to hide some under seats and throwing others down a rubbish chute, she destroyed the American ones, so the?terrorists could not target those passengers. That?s because minutes after they stormed the plane, they had shot an American citizen and threw his body onto the tarmac and then asked for more Americans.

After 17 hours on board, the terrorists opened fire, at which point Neerja threw open the emergency exit. Instead of saving herself by sliding down the emergency chute, she used her body to shield three escaping children, and died in the process.

One of the survivors from that attack Dr Kishore Murthy,?has told what happened in that horrifying moment when the terrorists shot Neerja in the head:

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Auschwitz 31. Women survivors huddled in a prisoner barracks shortly after Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz camp. Auschwitz, Poland, 1945.

Auschwitz 31. Women survivors huddled in a prisoner barracks shortly after Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz camp. Auschwitz, Poland, 1945.

How One Woman Delivered 3,000 Babies During The Holocaust

Auschwitz had all sorts of facilities, such as sleeping quarters, offices, kitchens and latrines. It also had a “sick ward” where, in atrocious conditions, sick prisoners were looked after by physicians who were prisoners themselves. Anyone who appeared unlikely to get well was killed. Thus the physicians were constantly concealing serious cases by falsifying records to permit a longer stay to those who otherwise would have been sent to the crematorium. Almost all survivors of Auschwitz suffered from typhoid, a disease that qualified inmates for liquidation, but was never reported thanks to the courage of the physicians. They were risking their lives since the punishment for breaking any rule in the concentration camp was death. Auschwitz also had a “maternity-ward.” Many of the women who arrived at the camp were pregnant. They were needed for work; their babies were not. One of the midwives working in the ward was Stanislawa Leszczynska.

When Stanislawa Leszczy?ska first became a midwife, she never could have imagined that she would one day be whisked away from her home in Poland, where she routinely walked miles to deliver babies, and into the real-life nightmare of Auschwitz. After the murder of her husband in Poland and the forced removal of her son to another work camp, Stanislawa and her daughter entered Auschwitz with only one hope: that they would survive.

Born Stanislawa Zambrzyska in 1896, she married Bronislaw Leszczynski in 1916 and together they had two sons and a daughter. In 1922, she graduated from a school for midwives and began working in the poorest districts of Lodz. In pre-war Poland, babies were normally delivered at home. Stanislawa made herself available at any time, walking many kilometers to the homes of the women she helped. Her children recall that she often worked nights but she never slept during the day.

After the war, she returned to her job in Lodz. Her husband had been killed in the Warsaw uprising of 1944, but all of her children survived and, inspired by their mother’s example, went on to become physicians. Stanislawa supported their education, earning the family livelihood through a devoted service to childbirth.

In March 1957, as her retirement neared, a reception was organized to commemorate her 35 years in the profession. Her son, Dr. Bronislaw Leszczynski, remarked to her before the reception that she might be asked about Auschwitz. Until that time, she had said nothing about her work in the concentration camp. Her son began taking notes and later, during the reception when all the speeches were over, he stood up and told his mother’s story.

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Photo: David Handschuh/NY Daily News via Getty Images. Ground Zero Tour. Lee Ielpi and Tania Head take former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the first guided tour of Ground Zero. The tours, were organized out of the planned Tribute Centre starting in October, and led by survivors and family members of those who died on 9/11.

Photo: David Handschuh/NY Daily News via Getty Images.
Ground Zero Tour. Lee Ielpi and Tania Head take former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the first guided tour of Ground Zero. The tours, were organized out of the planned Tribute Centre starting in October, and led by survivors and family members of those who died on 9/11.

A Crazy Need To Be A Star!

No-one did any Fact Checking on Her Story for About Six years..

Why didn’t anyone sense something was amiss?

Tania Head was full of lies.

Tania Head, was a wonderful 9/11 impostor?She was The President and Spokesperson for the World Trade Centre Survivors Network, despite Not being a World Trade Centre survivor? and also a prominent advocate for 9/11 widows who had Not, in fact, lost a husband. Or a fianc?, as she referred to a man named Dave, who had actually died in the attacks.

Dave?s family had never heard of Tania, which is no surprise, since she was a Spanish business-school student who had spent September 11, in Barcelona.

Alicia Esteve Head, a.k.a. Tania, Head claimed she lost consciousness while still in the North Tower and awoke five days later, in a hospital, to learn her fianc? had died there.

Her story had more holes in it than?a pair of fishnet stockings, and it’s not like she invented?concocting fake?9/11 stories?to get attention. Still, when a victim crawls from the rubble of a countries worst disaster with a dead fianc?, it’s a very risky move calling bull. So, nobody did.

America took Head into their hearts both as a victim and as the woman who publicly fought for the cause of the 9/11 survivors, she became infamous as the woman who made it all up.

Head had never worked for Merrill Lynch, which she claimed as her employer at the time of the attacks, and had never visited the offices of the Fiduciary Trust Company, on the 96th floor of the South Tower, where she claimed she was when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. (She had reached the 78th floor and was waiting for an express elevator down, she said, when the second plane made impact above her.) On her way out of the building, she often told trauma groups, reporters, and 9/11 victims, she encountered a badly injured man who passed her his wedding ring and asked that she return it to his wife.

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Photo Of The Day

Survivors gaze at photographer Margaret Bourke-White and rescuers from the United States Third Army during the liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945.

Survivors gaze at photographer Margaret Bourke-White and rescuers from the United States Third Army during the liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945.

Behind the Picture: The Liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945

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