4th of July

"Rosa's List"

You're probably wondering, what's this? Why the music from Schindler's List? Well, for some reason this picture reminded me of a heartwarming, true, story. A story that truly touched me as I'm sure it will you. As we look forward to celebrating the 4th of July this story will bring home the price and joy of freedom. 

Herman was coerced to going on a blind date to Coney Island by his friends. He didn't want to but they insisted, so he agreed to go and meet Rosa. He had been engaged three times over the years, but at the last it didn't feel right so he didn't marry.

Herman met Rosa at the park and almost immediately was drawn to her soft, sunny disposition and smile. They went on the rides, walked along the boardwalk, and simply enjoyed each others company. As most young couples do on their first date, they started talking about their past.

Herman mentioned that he worked at an army base in Israel a few years back and talked about a couple of girls he met and dated there. Rosa, after hearing this and asking him a few questions, realized she was one of the girls as she also worked at that base.  Herman was amazed as he didn't recognize her, nor she him.

He then went on to explain how years earlier, when he was only eleven, he lost his family in a Nazi concentration camp.  He was alone, sick, and starving there and didn't think he would survive for very long. 

There was an open area on both sides of the barb wire fence that surrounded the camp.  One day, while he was standing just off the open area, he noticed a little girl outside the camp under the trees at the edge of the clearing. She motioned to him, with a handful of food, to come closer to the barbed wire so she could throw it to him. He had to keep his eye on the movements of the guards, but soon timed their coming and going and was able to get close enough to the fence for the girl to toss him the food. With the rags around his feet flopping he ran back away from the clearing.

Every day the girl came and tossed him something to eat. They both risked their lives in doing this. The girl came to represent the love and freedom he longed for.  He grew to love her and the freedom she represented in only a way a small boy could in the horrible conditions of a  concentration camp. 

Then one day he told her that he was being moved to another camp and to not come back. With tears in their eyes they waived goodbye through the barb wire fence. They both knew Herman was on his way to a death camp.  On the very day he was to die the Allied forces liberated the camp and he was set free.

Tears started running down Rosa's cheeks as he was telling the story of the girl.  Herman thought he understood why. No doubt she was just feeling sorry for him.  When he finished the story she said, through a torrent of tears, "I was that girl, Herman. I remember tossing food to a young boy over the barb wire fence."

Almost in shock, rivers of tears came streaming down Herman's face. He had to be sure Rosa was the little girl. "What did the boy have on his feet?", he asked.  Slowly, haltingly, she softly said, "Rags - I was that girl, Herman." They shared tears of joy in each others arms.

That very night Herman asked Rosa to marry him. They are still living together in New York City. They fully understand the price and the joy of freedom we oftentimes dismiss with a few fireworks.




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