February 1, 2016 |
Despite Taliban gains and ISIS's emergence in Afghanistan, one amazing Kabul school continues to teach 4,000 students (half girls) to think independently and to believe in tolerance. The private Marefat school, along with its founder, Aziz Royesh, and several girl students, is the subject of Jeffrey Stern's moving new book, The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War . The book raises painful and very pertinent questions: Can liberal values take root in a conservative Muslim country that is threatened by Islamist radicals?
January 3, 2015 |
An Army narrative describes how Jeffrey F. Zauber, a Cherry Hill native, earned a Distinguished Service Cross for "exceptionally valorous actions" in South Vietnam on Feb. 2, 1969. "While serving as company medic during a mission to relieve a sister unit engaged with an enemy force," Mr. Zauber showed "extraordinary heroism," the June 25, 1969, account reads. "Approaching the combat area, Specialist Zauber's company came under intense enemy fire and sustained several casualties.
December 21, 2014 |
Patrolman Michael Minor was driving solo. It was a slow, rainy morning. The radio was quiet. When the call came - a domestic disturbance on Old York Road - Minor, then a seven-year veteran assigned to the 35th District, jumped on it, even though another officer had originally been sent. He was just a few blocks away. And bored. Pulling up, he saw a man pacing on the porch. It was the father, he'd later find out. Walking up the steps, the front door of the house swung open, and a man stood in the doorway.
June 27, 2014
COURAGE has always been a relative sort of thing. We consider it, reflected through both our personal prisms of perspective and the evolving context of time. These days, someone like Jason Collins, who announces his homosexuality to the sports world, is hailed as courageous, even though it's much more likely that a high-profile athlete who "comes out" will be heralded, not hounded. A Republican who supports gay marriage or a Democrat who declares herself to be pro-life are looked upon as heroic in some circles, and while they show a refreshing willingness to stray from the reservation, they're not exactly candidates for the Bronze Star.
June 17, 2013 |
For the first time that night, it was quiet on the pile. The rescue dog wasn't barking. The excavator digging up debris from the building collapse at the Salvation Army thrift shop was turned off. Firefighters from the elite Rescue 1 unit, drained from eight hours of pulling bodies from the rubble, were off to the side, awaiting their replacements and drinking water. Amid the mess and ruin, Capt. John O'Neill, 50, a search-and-rescue specialist from Squad 72, stood by himself.
May 1, 2013 |
REVIEW the tweeters and the commenters and you will realize just how unremarkable Jason Collins' declaration is. Collins will appear on the May 6 cover of Sports Illustrated , the subject of a first-person piece in which he announces his homosexuality. He presents himself as the first active male professional athlete to come out. Unless you are a severe hoops junkie, you probably do not know who Jason Collins is. Unless you are severely socially retarded, you probably do not care he is gay. For decades, the United States, home of a sports mania that has eclipsed all other forms of entertainment and information, has wondered what sort of social earthquake would erupt when a superjock acknowledged his sexual orientation was not hyper-hetero.
December 28, 2012 |
WITHOUT QUESTION, the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., committed evil. Millions of prayers have been said by all of us. Who could do such a thing? What do we tell our own children, who thankfully came home from school that Friday, about an act so cruel? Twenty minutes. That's the approximate time it took to rip 20 precious young lives and six of their teachers, including their principal, from this world. Moms lost babies and babies lost their moms. The hearts of 26 families have been thrust into a forever pain no one deserves.
December 16, 2012
A look at some of those who died: Mary Sherlach, 56, school psychologist Maura Schwartz, of Deptford, Gloucester County, turned on the broadcast news Friday for information about the shooting. Then, the news broke: Her mother, Mary Sherlach, was among the victims. Schwartz had received a phone call from her sister, Sherlach's other daughter, frantically telling them that there was a shooting at the school. But it wasn't until news reports began confirming victim information that they learned of the death.
January 29, 2012 |
George Lucas, the legendary director of the Star Wars saga, should have taken a few down-to-earth meetings with master storyteller Bertram Levy before he made Red Tails , the story of the African American pilots known today as the Tuskegee Airmen. Critics have not been kind to Lucas' World War II saga. They complain about the depth of the characters and the cliche-ridden dialogue. Most damning are the concerns that the movie doesn't delve deeply enough into the battles against segregation that the airmen had to wage just to help defend their country in wartime.
September 12, 2011 |
SHANKSVILLE, Pa. - At its heart, the Flight 93 National Memorial park is a battlefield - the place where 40 people lost their lives waging the first assault in the war on terror. But Sunday's 10th anniversary commemoration of 9/11 brought a spirit of hope that those who died there would be remembered not just for their bravery, but as an inspiration to future generations, speakers told the estimated 3,000 people gathered at the site. Capping an emotional memorial service was the arrival of President Obama, making his first visit to the crash location in the Laurel Highlands, 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.