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Tribute to a fallen hero: A Life. A Loss. A Legacy.

Monday was Memorial Day.  So I took time to remember.

My memories revolved around the life, loss and legacy of Harold Eugene Horine.82

Harold was born in 1939, the second son of Martin and Ruth Horine – my wife’s parents.  He was raised in a happy, loving home along with his two brothers and two sisters.  After completing school, he married and was blessed with four daughters.

Harold lived a happy life.

In 1968 badge #6686 was assigned to Harold when he entered the ranks of the California Highway Patrol.  His tenure of service ended abruptly in the early morning hours of May 13, 1978 when he and his patrol partner,Bill Leiphardt, were struck by a drunk driver in a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate Highway 10 in Baldwin Park (Los Angeles).

We all suffered a tragic loss.

Fifty days later Harold would have become my brother-in-law.  And although Harold’s life was cut short, and his loss will never be replaced, his legacy is strong.

Harold’s legacy of se85rvice to the people of California is an inspiration to all of us.  He and Bill were killed while responding to a call for help.  They answered the call.  That day it cost them their lives.  I’m so thankful for the patriots and heroes who stand in harm’s
way every day so ordinary citizens like you and me can enjoy our lives in safety and freedom.

Earlier this month, on the 36th anniversary of the tragic accident that took their lives, Harold and Bill were honored with the dedication of a stretch of I-10 in their memory.  I was privileged to attend, along with my wife and numerous family members, to memorialize the lives
of these heroes.

86Harold’s legacy continues today through countless people impacted by his life.  First of all, Rita, the wife he loved so dearly.  Then his four daughters who lost their Dad too soon … and their families.

More personal for me, Harold is remembered through those who share his name:  Aaron Harold Stroman, my only son.  And Caje Harold Stroman, my only grandson.  Although they never met Harold Horine, their shared characteristics – the love of people, a zest for life, that mischievous glint in the eye – preserve his memory for generations to come.

This Memorial Day, Harold’s life, loss and legacy inspire me to be intentional about how I live.  Am I using the life God gives me in ways that won’t be lost when my time on earth ends?  Will my legacy be lasting, encouraging, and inspiring for those who I have been privileged to meet?
I hope so.

I pray it will be so.

Remembering … with you,


Kent Stroman, CFRE

America’s ASKing Coach

PS: Think of someone whose life has been impactful on you.  Call and thank them for their legacy.  It will make their day.  And yours.

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