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Thanksgiving Stories: Encounters With Miracles

By       Message Mark Sashine     Permalink
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This story I heard from my father. Maybe I even told it here before, in a comment.   Still it is worth repeating. In Y1946 my dad, then a 15years' old kid   returned   to our city of Kiev, Ukraine after the city was freed from the Germans in    Y1943. Kiev was nearly all destroyed but by the Y1946 they opened an all- boys High School and my dad   studied there. There were severe food shortages and     the city   government arranged that all students in the school received   buns of freshly- baked bread every day.   Many kids   did not eat those buns but wanted to take them home to their families. Only that was dangerous     because gangs of homeless and very hungry kids usually surrounded the school and   took those buns by force especially from the younger kids. Obviously, there were no buses or any kind of protection. So once   the   schoolboys made a decision to take   the matters into their own hands; they came out en masse and attacked the gangs in the   long- term fight.

The fight was severe, cruel   and brutal. It lasted   for       so long that   the teachers   at last called the   municipality and asked for help. And the City Council sent troops, real military regiments with the orders to restore order     by any means necessary.

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I must explain that it was Y1946 and the soldiers and their   commanders were war veterans. They had seen everything and   could   do anything. They came     out in full gear and   were   responsible to no one. Those were tough times and    the   City Council would not give a damn about some dead gang members   if it came to it.

According to my dad the action took about 10 minutes. Soldiers   surrounded   the   fight scene and moved in swiftly and   efficiently. They opened fire into the air and     that stopped the fight. Then they rounded up the   most active   persons. Others   were   ordered to disperse. No one was hurt or mistreated. Not one person was even restrained.

School kids could be distinguished by their uniforms and thus   were   left untouched. As for the gang leaders, those     most notorious were     identified     by the police officers who accompanied the soldiers and   knew   the   situation. Even though the detained     folks   were   not charged with anything but   instead put on the accelerated placement   in orphanages. There was never any     accident   near the school again.

When I watched   recently the   University of   CA, Davis   police actions against OWS- pepper- spraying the   sitting   kids or   police in full gear   arresting   hundreds of the OWS people elsewhere I remembered that story.   Those soldiers in the Y1946     were not just pros of war. They were fathers themselves, most of them. They had just won the war of wars for those very   kids   and they felt their connection and responsibility. I wonder if any of those policemen who pepper- sprayed kids in the Y2011     felt any connection to those mistreated.

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I had chosen those stories     because of the thread. The thread is not in the miracles but rather in one common idea- if you are human you better exercise two main qualities: curiosity and restraint.   Those two provide a necessary balance for the soul.     Curiosity prepares you   to act upon the opportunity when it occurs. Restraint     enables you to do the right thing-to turn the opportunity into the good deed.. Take one of these away- and evil prevails in your deeds no matter how you deny it.

Hope you had a good time. As Tom Lehrer said,   "And if   you   hated   my stories, you shouldn't have allowed me to begin."


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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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