Adel Termos and Florent Groberg
Adel Termos is not a name that is well-known to Americans, but it deserves to be. On Nov. 12, 2015, Termos was walking through an open-air market in his native Beirut with his small daughter. Suddenly, an explosion rocked the crowd: a suicide bomber had detonated his pack of explosives. Seeing a second bomber, Termos threw himself on him, saving the lives of his daughter and who knows how many dozens of people.
Forty-one people died in that market, including Termos. The news of that bombing was wiped off Western news by the horrific series of terrorist attacks in Paris the next evening. But, in the honor roll of heroes, the name of Adel Termos must be inscribed.
Termos' action was virtually identical to that of Capt. Florent Groberg, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor last week by President Obama. Groberg was luckier than Termos, although he needed 33 operations simply to walk again. But Groberg said he would gladly have forgone the Medal of Honor, and even the remainder of his own life, to bring back the comrades he could not save. It is a sad bit of serendipity, in light of the Paris attacks, to know that Groberg is the son of French immigrants.
Considering the heroism of Termos and Groberg, we can only stand as best we can in solidarity with the victims of terrorism everywhere. We can also marvel at the kindness and courage of ordinary Parisians, who opened their homes to those fleeing the carnage, just as New Yorkers did on Sept. 11, 2001. The message is clear: Love everyone. Mourn everyone. Pray for everyone. Fight for everyone.