By Joanie Schirm
Vaclav Havel has passed away. One of the most amazing men I have ever watched change the world, he will always be a hero in my eyes. Vaclav Havel led without bloodshed his Czechoslovak people through the velvet revolution of 1989, shedding communism from their midst. With his leadership he returned great hope to his beloved country after domination under both the Nazis and the USSR. His steadfast moral strength led them back to a thriving democracy.
A wonderful writer, my favorite is Summer Meditations with his timeless thoughts on how to build a better world through authentic and honorable public engagement at every level accompanied with recognition of a higher moral purpose for us all. He has now met his maker who no doubt guided his words.
My husband Roger and I were very fortunate to have been with him twice in October 2011 at the American Friends of the Czech Republic festivities centering around the restoration of President Woodrow Wilson’s statue at the Prague railway station. He spoke eloquently about the importance of democracy and the long friendship between the American and Czech people. As I look to our nation’s predicament with distasteful political partisanship and a lack of working collaboratively and honestly towards the common good, we can only hope that somewhere in our political midst will arise many individuals who will lead in the manner in which Vaclav Havel did for his country at a time when it mattered most. May he rest in peace and be celebrated for his contributions to a better world.
FOOTNOTE - Throughout Joanie Schirm's life, she thought she knew her Czech-American father. She never realized that his loving and overprotective nature was rooted in loss far beyond anything a child could imagine. That was until a stunning turn of events in 2008, after the death of her father and her mother, when she made the discovery of a lifetime. Four hundred letters. Seventy-eight writers. One amazing story. My Dear Boy by Joanie Schirm. Coming 2012.
Click link below for national television feature about My Dear Boy.