Hechler shows joys of life’s many journeys

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From a historical perspective, Ken Hechler is like the real-life version of Forrest Gump.

Although he may be more well spoken and doesn’t carry around a box of chocolates, Hechler has one big thing in common with the fictional character from the popular Winston Groom novel that was later turned into a movie: both have had a front-row seat for some of the biggest events in U.S. history.

Hechler recently shared that perspective with students from Dawson-Bryant.

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Few people can say they have seen and done as much as the New York native who saw the Holocaust impact, interviewed Hitler’s second in command, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., served in Congress during a pivotal time that included landing a man on the moon and has written several books.

Although some may see Hechler’s story as that of someone who achieved impossible accomplishments, it should truly be considered an example of what anyone can accomplish if they put their heart, mind and soul into what they do.

Not to say that Hechler isn’t unique in his own ways, but the reality is he simply shows what can be done.

Ken Hechler didn’t allow his background to stand in his way. In fact, it drove him even more.

He recently said something — simple and profoundly powerful at the same time — that encapsulates the breadth of his experiences and what he was able to take from those.

“Lincoln saved the Union,” Hechler said. “Harry Truman saved the world.”

And Ken Hechler had a great view of the whole thing.