History is full of stories about people who did amazing things and events. Sometimes they are hard to believe. But still, they have happened in some miraculous way. This story is one of them.
Would you believe a small thing like a coin can make a big difference in someone's life?
Well, that is exactly what happened to Optatius Buyssens. He was a Belgian soldier who fought in the First World War. His story is one of luck, courage, and survival.
Coins cling, and bullets deflect.
This story happened during World War I. The world was going through some really hard times in those years. And the ones who battled the hardest were soldiers on the battlefield. Optatius was one of those soldiers. At the time, he was fighting in the war. But he did not know that he had something with him that would save his life. That was a stack of coins in his pocket.
Unfortunately, the coins in his pocket were clinking together and making noise when he was moving. And guess what happened next? The noise let a German soldier know where he was. That soldier did not think twice and shot at him. But the bullet hit the coins and bounced off. Coins saved Optatius's life like a miracle.
Brave and unseen
His life was hanging in the balance. But Optatius was really smart. He pretended to be dead when the German soldier walked towards his fallen body. The soldier thought he had killed Optatius. A soldier kicked him in the head to make sure he was dead. But when he saw no movements from Optatius, he left and went away. After the German soldier left, Optatius Buyssens and another wounded soldier did something really brave. They crawled to safety, even though it was really dangerous. For the second time that day, Optatius survived miraculously.
Bringing back a hero's story in the digital age
Buyssens survived the war and returned to Antwerp. He worked as a carpenter there. He had heart problems due to his injury but lived until 1958. He kept the coins as souvenirs and passed them on to his son, who later gave them to his grandson.
After World War I, the digital age brought Optatius's story to life. His great-grandson, Vincent, shared a photo of the coins that saved his great-grandfather's life on Reddit. In just one day, over 130,000 people upvoted the photo. The coins were old and worn, but they told an amazing story about bravery that lasted for many years.
Vincent Buyssens said he learned about the story from his father, Philippe, and from a journal kept by his great-grandfather's brother, who was an archivist. He also said he received photos of the journal from a local museum. Vincent said that some people on Reddit initially did not believe his story. But when he told them all the details, they thought it was really cool and were happy he shared it.
An unbreakable legacy of coins, courage, and continuity
Redditors pointed out that his survival was not just important for him; it also changed the future for generations. If he had died, future generations would never have been born. The coins in his pocket symbolized how he fought against what was supposed to happen. They did not just save his life; they also made it possible for future generations to be born.
The story of Optatius Buyssens and his coins is an example of how history can be preserved and shared through generations. It is also a reminder of how a small thing can greatly impact someone's fate.