March 14, 2004 - KOTV: Namibia RPCV Fern Holland Remembered

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Namibia: Special: Namibia RPCV Fern Holland put her life on the line for Iraqui Women: March 14, 2004 - KOTV: Namibia RPCV Fern Holland Remembered

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 7:45 pm: Edit Post

Namibia RPCV Fern Holland Remembered

Namibia RPCV Fern Holland Remembered

Fern Holland remembered

The family of an Oklahoma woman executed by terrorists in Iraq believes she was targeted because of her work on the Iraqi constitution.

Fern Holland was a civilian employee of the Department of Defense. She was shot to death by men disguised as Iraqi police in an attack south of Baghdad. News on 6 anchor Craig Day was the only Tulsa reporter to talk with Holland's brother Wednesday night.

Since his sister's death, Joe Holland has been looking at old photos and reliving memories. He says Fern was always willing to help others, especially those in need. "The world was a better place with her in it. There are people like that."

Fern Holland's death made headlines. But it's her courageous life that her friends want remembered. News on 6 anchor Terry Hood sat down Thursday with some of Fern's former co-workers.

The mood at Tulsa law firm Conner and Winters was very somber Thursday. Fern Holland left the firm several ago, but still corresponded with several friends there. They say Fern knew she was in danger, but stayed in Iraq because she believed she could make a difference.

Fern Holland was described by her former boss as a rising star at Conner and Winters, but she left to pursue another calling, the Peace Corps. She lived a life of service, working as a teacher in southern Africa and establishing a legal aid clinic for refugees in Guinea.

It was her belief in the rights of all people, particularly women, which led her to Iraq. Jim Green, her former boss, says Fern started out investigating human rights violations in northern Iraq and ended up working to include women in Iraq's new government.

It was a mission her friends believe cost Fern Holland her life. "Certainly its our belief that its these efforts as we all know are very unpopular with certain elements of Iraqi society that marked her and put a target on her."

Friend Susan Dittrich: "She said always remember I'm doing what I love and I am where I need to be."

By all accounts Fern Holland was an amazing woman, and touched lives literally all over the world.


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Story Source: KOTV

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Namibia; Obituaries; Women's Rights



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