homepage logo


Heroes in all shapes and sizes

Tuesday is National Hero Day – our readers share their heroes with us

By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Dec 28, 2020

After an incredible, challenging, and exhausting year, Estherville News readers shared their view of heroes in our midst who helped us through 2020. On December 29th, National Hero Day honors the people we look up to and who inspire us to be the best person we can possibly be.

If asked to define the word hero, many of us will name the qualities that demand a person rise above, the qualities that genuinely drive a person to be stronger, smarter, kinder and more than the average human being. They are the people who give when they have nothing to give. Heroes act before anyone else realizes there’s a problem. They volunteer to put someone else before them.

National Hero Day came about because often our everyday heroes go unrecognized.

Delores Inman of Estherville said, “All the heroes aren’t always out in front. Those people behind the scenes, the families at home supporting all the heroes, the prayer warriors, the clergy and others.”

Stacy Christensen of rural Ringsted said, “I would say front line workers and health care professionals. They’ve had a rough go this past year. Also, all military: without them, we would have no freedoms.”

Micki Bradburn of Estherville also cited health care workers, stating, “All the front-line health care workers who have put every other part of their lives on hold while at the same time putting their own lives in constant jeopardy. They are more than I could ever hope to be.”

Henry Stone of Forest City, the State Representative-elect for the seventh district, which includes Emmet County, said, “My hero would be my martial arts teacher, Mr. James Bolles.”

Craig Christensen of Estherville, recently retired from Henry-Olson Funeral Home, said, “Definitely Steve Olson was a hero to me. I was so impressed in 1975 when my dad died and how caring he was to my family that I thought, ‘Someday I want to be that man.’ He was the most influential person in my life to mentor me in helping me in my journey to be where I am at today. He truly was the best of the best.”

Sonny Koenck of Estherville said, “My hero is my Dad. He is a quiet, soft-spoken, kind man that would give the shirt off his back or the last penny from his pocket if you needed it.”

Mistie Weir of Estherville said her Grandpa is her hero. “Grandpa has always been my favorite human, and always made me feel like I was his favorite,” Weir said.

Willy Richards of Estherville said after God, his family had his admiration. “No matter how bad situations get, they seem to come up with encouragement – end of story.”

Micki Bradburn said, in addition to health care workers, “I have lots of heroes, one of my longest being Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her life-long work for women:s rights.”

Gabriel Rose of Estherville said his older sister, Felicity is his hero.

Numerous other readers cited members of the armed forces, and specifically the National Guard unit from Estherville that deployed overseas in early August.

The Alpha Battery of the I-94 Battalion posted a video message including several of the service members who went over to serve on the mission, for which they:re scheduled to be deplyed through the summer of 2021. Captain Conlon, mission leader, wrote+

“Thank you to all the family, friends, coworkers and organizations that have sent care packages or donated funds over the last few months! We’ve had many people put in a lot of time and effort to make this Christmas feel a little more like home. We truely appreciate it!

While everyone wishes they could be home with our families at this time, we couldn’t ask for a more important mission keeping Americans and bases safe at a historic time within the CENTCOM area of operations.

We continue to think of our Alpha Battery brothers and sisters that are deployed to other sites and not able to make it in the video, our Soldiers continuing to drill back in Iowa and the 1-194th FA BN!

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!”

Another kind of hero makes things happen. Whether it’s filling a need or making the impossible happen, some heroes go to amazing lengths to get things done.

How to observe National Hero Day? Honor the heroes in your life. Give them a shout out on social media or bring them coffee from their favorite coffee shop. Bake some cookies or write them a letter. Let them know how much they inspire you, how much you appreciate them. Be a hero in someone’s life, too. Use your talent to teach someone a vital skill. Other ways to be heroic include:

Donating blood


Giving to a charity that serves those in need

Organize a fundraiser for a non-profit organization

Listen to the needs of others and fill the void