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Bill to Honor Oklahoman Woman Killed in Iraq Clears Senate

Sen. Charlie Wyrick Sen. Charlie Wyrick
Sen. Wyrick discusses bill honoring Oklahoma Fern Holland.

The full Senate has given its approval to a bill that will name a section of a state highway in honor of an Oklahoma woman who was killed six years ago in Iraq. State Sen. Charles Wyrick, D-Fairland, and Rep. Larry Glenn, D-Miami, are the authors of House Bill 2621, which names portion of State Highway 25 in northeastern Oklahoma as the “Fern Holland Memorial Highway.”

“This is a personal bill for Representative Glenn and me, because Fern grew up in our area in the community of Blue Jacket,” Wyrick said. “She could have stayed in Oklahoma and had a successful career, but Fern had a higher calling; human rights, particularly the rights of women.”

Holland graduated from the University of Oklahoma then earned a law degree from the University of Tulsa and eventually joined the Peace Corps. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, she went to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority to help the nation develop a democratic government. In 2004, insurgents
murdered Holland along with two others traveling with her.

“Fern Holland was only 33 years old when she became the first U.S. civilian to die in Iraq. Who knows what she could have accomplished had her life not been taken from her, but she was fearless and believed in the cause of freedom and democracy. I’m thankful to Representative Glenn for introducing this legislation in the House and to my fellow legislators for helping us pay tribute to this brave Oklahoman.”

House Bill 2621 now goes to Governor Brad Henry for his signature.

Contact info
Sen. Wyrick: (405) 521-5561