A year to remember,
a year to think ahead.
A tribute to
David Diego Ladowski z”l
By Gabi Ladowski
It’s the year 2012. So many things have been said about this year. From the many beliefs of the eschatology (the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and destiny) that predicts great cataclysms or transformative events will occur, to some New Age interpretations that foresees a positive physical or spiritual transformation in this world.
Ten years ago was a different story. All around the globe we were still adjusting to a new life after the events of September 11, 2001. Since the year 2000, in Israel people had been dealing with the second intifada which almost, on a weekly basis, was claiming the lives of dozens of innocent people. Chaos abound.
Back then, it seemed like the whole world was full of hatred. The westerners hated the Muslims; the Arab world hated the west and of course, Jews and Israel. Even some western countries seemed to hate the USA and Israel because now we were all at war and they couldn’t agree on whom to fight and blame for what was happening. Everyone seemed to be angry at each other…
The day that changed our lives for my family and me was July 31, 2002. That was the day that my brother David Diego was killed in a terrorist attack when a bomb exploded at the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Eight other people died on that day and almost one hundred were injured.
But my brother was thinking on how to make the world a better place, how to help people, how to end the conflicts. He did many things, among them, he became a diplomat. He had Big Plans. Big Dreams. The ones that put the bomb in the cafeteria had the wrong ideas in mind, but despite that, or like it’s said in Hebrew “davka” ( despite everything), my brother’s dreams did not stop with the explosion.
A lot of good-hearted people touched by David Diego’s story expressed their support in so many wonderful ways. Lots of letters & notes were received for what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel published a book with them and we also published another book in the United States. Many articles were written. My family and I established a Memorial Fund and we have been able to provide very talented students with Merit Scholarships in order to advance their careers. In fact, we have provided so far 68 scholarships (over $70,000) to highly motivated individuals who want to make a difference in people's lives and may someday become Public Servants, Ambassadors, or maybe, even Presidents or Prime Ministers.
So many people have been touched and inspired by David Diego. A main auditorium in one of the major universities in Lima, Peru carries his name. In a book called “A New Shoah” written by Italian reporter Giulio Meotti his story is also told.
On July 31, 2012 we’ll observe the 10 th anniversary of that tragic day. We’ll remember all those who passed and those who have been affected by it. But we’ll continue to look forward and inspire those who, like David Diego, also have Big Dreams and want to make this world a better place. I’m sure he still smiles, like he always did, because his legacy lives on, and will continue to live on in all of us, through all of you, forever…