SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies is Dead

It's fitting that this is my 1,888th post, because 18 in the Jewish religion is the sign for chai, or life. And it's fitting that today you read about a true hero, someone who put her life on the line daily for several years in the face of unfettered terror, in order to protect neighbors that she cared about. In order to try to save other lives.

Her name was Miep Gies, she was 100, and she died Monday in The Netherlands.

She was one of the people who protected Anne Frank and her family. And she was the person who found and saved Anne's diary, preserving it so that when her father, the only person in Anne's family who survived the death camps, returned from them, he could publish it and tell the entire world his teenaged daughter's story.

Sports, of course, is a great release for all of us. But the sporting world and the sporting press overuse the word hero to the point that the word has become diluted. Even Gies herself thought so, denying that she was a hero. But that humility, that selflessness made her all the more compelling a figure.

The world is blessed with everyday people who once in a while take a stand and in so doing accomplish something extraordinary. Miep Gies was one of those people, and the world was lucky to her her (and the many other Dutch people) who put their lives on the line to save those less fortunate.

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