Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Just to know that people like Yanis Kanidis existed brings hope to the rest of us.

"In an act of unlimited devotion and dedication, to the bitter end, an elderly teacher insisted on remaining with his students. He protected them, bandaged their wounds, and with his death, saved their lives.
Children who escaped from the school told of how they owed their lived to elderly Yanis (Ivan) Kanidis, age 74 – a man of Greek origin who worked as a gym teacher at the school. He was among the hundreds of teachers, students and parents taken hostage last week when Chechen rebels invaded the large school.
On Thursday, in what was an unusual humanitarian move in the midst of the horror, the terrorists agreed to allow a group of women and babies to leave the building. The commander of the terrorist squad, saw Kanidis -- a sickly elderly man -- and offered to allow him to walk free as well.
But Kanidis refused. “I will stay with my students till the end,” the teacher insisted.
“Whatever you say,” said the terrorist, dismissing him with a wave of the hand."

Read the whole story. This was the kind of man whose truly heroic behavior against monstrous evil can truly inspire us to hope in these dark times.

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