The definition of a survivor is put to the test. Hear what one fire survivor has to say.
Recently, I was watching the movie Shindler’s List and I began to think, “What does it mean to be a survivor?” There are many survivors in history, people who have experienced fires, those who have gone through the Holocaust, all the people from 9/11, the list could go on and on.
Do we ever forget what happened to us? Does the memory, the horrors of the past ever escape our memory? How do we pick up the pieces and begin life again?
The Memory Never Escapes Us
If you listen to anyone that is a survivor, including those on Shindler’s list, you will find that the memory, the horror whatever it may be, will never escape us. For as long as we live, we will be people to retell the story of our trauma like it happened yesterday. The sounds, smells, feelings are still ever so close to our hearts.
History Can Repeat Itself
If you are survivor then you know that the inevitable can happen again. For example, Andi O’Conor experienced two house fires, the first one in 1969 and the second one in 2010. Likewise, whenever there is hate there is also opportunity for people to act in unforeseen ways.
Our Story is Inspiration to Others
The most important part about the label of “survivor” is that we learn that despite our headache, our story can help another, make someone else who has been touched by what we have experienced realize that they are not alone. There are numerous people throughout history that have helped inspire others, like Gina Russo, author of From the Ashes and survivor of the Rhode Island Night Club Fire, Mildred Cook, mother of Eleanor Cook (Little Miss 1565) and survivor of the Hartford Circus Fire, and the list could go on and on.
Anyone who is a survivor has a different perspective on what this term means. The most important concept to remember is how can we rise above our injustice?
- Fire Survivors is Looking for Guest Bloggers (firesurvivors.wordpress.com)
- Tim Cornwell: Face-to-face with a Holocaust survivor (scotsman.com)
- Holocaust Survivor and Scholar Lustiger Dies at 88 (abcnews.go.com)