Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Adel Termos, Hero of Lebanon


You've heard plenty about the ISIS attacks in France. You may not have heard that the day before that, Beirut, Lebanon suffered a terrible terrorist attack by ISIS involving suicide bombers. 45 died and 200 more were wounded.

It could have been a lot worse if not for the ultimate sacrifice made by Adel Termos, a father of two. After the first suicide bomber went off, Adel spotted a second who was preparing to detonate his explosives. Instantly, Adel moved to tackle him to the ground, where both of them died from the explosion, but no one else.

“There are many, many families, hundreds probably, who owe their completeness to his sacrifice,” Elie Fares, a blogger and physician in Beirut, told Public Radio International in an interview last week. 
“In a way, Adel Termos broke human nature of self-preservation. His heroism transcended his own life to save others,” Fares told The Washington Post in an e-mail Monday. “To make that kind of decision in a split second, to decide that you’d rather save hundreds than to go back home to your family, to decide that the collective lives of those around you are more important than your own is something that I think no one will ever understand.”

It's true. Most people in the same situation would freeze or run, overcome by the power of their survival instincts. Adel was different. He was a hero.

We in the U.S. and many other Western nations have been told that violence happens in "that part of the world" all the time, and somehow, that means that we do not need to mourn innocent deaths there the way that we should mourn the deaths in France. It's hard to fight against that social conditioning. But you can. Think about Adel Termos' family, and all those lost and grieving in Lebanon and in Iraq, and try to mourn for them. Do it for Adel.

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