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Fern Holland Days Kick Off to Honor Local Hero - KOAM TV 7

Fern Holland Days Kick Off to Honor Local Hero

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Miami, Oklahoma is honoring a Northeastern Oklahoma women murdered while triumphing women's rights in Iraq. Fern Holland was born in Blue Jacket, but raised in Miami Schools, and many say she holds a legacy for both Miami, and the rest of the world. 

"I think she was a hero, I really do," said Miami City Councilman Doug Weston.  

Weston met international advocate Fern Holland when she was about nine years old in the early 1980s. Holland was murdered in Iraq years later in 2004 while promoting women's rights in the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Weston says even then when a nine year old Fern hustled him at games of pool, he knew she was headed for greatness.

"It was kind of humbling to be put in my place over a pool game, but you could tell there was something different about her, and she was spirited," Weston said. 

Those who knew her say Holland spent her short 33 years on earth putting others before herself. She graduated from Miami High School and moved on to become a lawyer, quitting to become a member of the Peace Corps-to then open legal clinics for African women suffering from rape and sexual abuse. 

"The one that she started, they've started a second one, based on the model that she created, so by now thousands of lives, that she's saved, tortures that she's ended," said DeeDee Cox of the Miami Crisis Center, who is putting on the week long open house, beginning August 19th.  

According to the Cox, the Crisis Center hopes people come to this open house (located at 118 A Street SE in Miami), learn about Holland's story and discover that even nine year's after her murder, her legacy continues to live on, in the hearts of those she's helped world wide.

"I think it's so important that we do everything we can to keep her memory alive, so that people can aspire to the great things that she dreamed of," Cox said. 

And Weston says Holland's story is one everyone should know about. 

"She was pretty much selfless and thought that the needs of the other people of the world, far exceeded her own," Weston said. 

Holland has won awards including the Oklahoman of the Year in 2004, and the Heroic Oklahoman Award as well as had a portion of Highway 25 named after her by Oklahoma Mary Fallin in 2012. 

Fern Holland Remembrance Week Information:

The Crisis Center is hosting the open house for Fern Holland, Monday through Friday from 3 PM- 6 PM, but will be willing to open for those wanting to visit during the lunch house. Cox notes that there will also be a Celebration Ceremony on Saturday, August 24th at the Center with a free breakfast beginning at 9am and a brief program for Holland at 10am.

Additionally there will be a 5K run sponsored by Northeastern Tribal Health System in remembrance of Holland and to end Domestic Violence at Miami High School at 7:15am at Miami High School. You can call Debbie Randolph at 918-332-4374 to register. 

 

 
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