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The Pueblo Chieftain Online
February 20, 2001
Sterner plans to keep Home of Heroes active
By DENNIS DARROW
The Pueblo Chieftain
No shock to those who know Doug Sterner, not even last fall's national Congressional Medal of Honor convention quenched his thirst for promoting heroes and patriotism.
Today, the Home of Heroes founder remains the editor of the ever-expanding patriotic Web site (HomeOfHeroes.com ) , and he increasingly works as a consultant for media outlets and others.
He also remains committed to his long-range goal of finding money to open a Hall of Heroes museum in Pueblo, an idea he first announced several years ago.
The museum would offer an "all-day, structured field trip for school children" throughout the state and region, Sterner told members of Pueblo Rotary 43 on Monday.
"I have this as a dream for Pueblo," Sterner said.
Sterner characterized himself as a perpetual dreamer in his Rotary address, during which he also paid tribute to Presidents Day by sharing a story about Andrew Jackson's childhood heroism.
The short story, "Andy's Scar," appears on the Web site. The story recounts how Jackson coped as a young teen-ager following his family's capture by British forces.
"Not all heroes wore the Medal of Honor; not all of them served in the military," Sterner said.
Given his idealism, Sterner said remains thankful to the many Pueblo leaders who engineered last fall's national Medal convention, led by convention organizer Paulette Stuart.
"I'm a dreamer and dreamers accomplish absolutely nothing," Sterner quipped.
Sterner also paid tribute to his wife, Pam, the driving force of the Family Funshine Days that starting in 1993 led to the creation of the Home of Heroes project and its many events.
The couple's decision to involve the community from the outset proved the key to its success, Sterner said.
"Had we held that dream to our vest . . . nothing would have happened," he said.
On a more personal level, his wife supported him when, three years ago, he took a leave from his job to learn how to develop the Web site, Sterner noted.
The site now features the equivalent of 50,000 typed pages.
"I'm a man who three years ago couldn't turn on a computer," Sterner said.
True dreamers never stop thinking of new initiatives, and he doesn't plan to rest on his current endeavors or the success of past Home of Heroes projects, Sterner said.
Regarding past Heroes activities, "I'm going to say that was a good start because I've accomplished only about 30 percent of what I dreamed," Sterner told the Rotary members.
As for the proposed Hall of Heroes project, he remains convinced the idea holds promise in an era when schools and parents appear increasingly hungry for patriotic teachings, Sterner said.
The museum would promote patriotism and general U.S. history, he said. Pueblo - the childhood home of four Medal recipients, among the most of any U.S. city - would serve as an ideal host, he said.
In the interim, he plans to develop still more initiatives for the Web site, dubbed the "virtual Hall of Heroes museum" and already considered one of the nation's leading sources of patriotic information.
Co-managed by Pete Lemon, a Medal recipient from Colorado Springs, the Web site now draws between 15,000 and 40,000 hits per day and nearly 1 million hits per month, Sterner said.
One Web monitoring agency ranks the site in the top 3 percent of Web traffic, Sterner said.
"It's very much worldwide," Sterner said.
Recent additions to the site include downloadable, mini-books on a range of topics. Visitors can also create their own personal "hero" Web page featuring a relative or others they admire.
The Pueblo Chieftain Online
Publish Date Tuesday, February 20, 2001
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