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Harry Reisiger: A Life That Mattered

ve8QAd   |   February 01, 2009

Recently, pro-lifers in Cincinnati mourned the death of a dearly loved colleague and friend. At the age of 86, Harry Reisiger quietly slipped from this life into eternity with little fanfare or notoriety. His funeral was held on one of the coldest days of the year. In spite of the bitter cold, it was a sunny day—something this old gardener would have appreciated. As I and 5 other men carried Harry’s casket up the church steps, I thought of the millions of people who had benefited from his talents but never knew this gentle, loving man.

Harry Reisiger left a wonderful legacy of artwork, graphics and typesetting—enhancing pro-life educational materials that are familiar to most pro-lifers. His brochures, billboards, bumper strips and visual aids effectively communicated the plight of America’s unborn babies because they were filtered through trained and expert eyes.

In the early 1970’s, June volunteered her husband’s services. Harry was a commercial design artist with Kenner Toys. He designed packaging and advertising that found its way into tens of millions of American homes. Over the decades, he volunteered countless hours for the pro-life movement. Harry mentored me and others on our staff for most of the nearly 18 years I knew him. On many occasions Harry’s sage advice has echoed in my ears as we design newsletters, websites and other visual messaging.

Harry’s work circled the globe. During one lecture tour, I was speaking at a national pro-life conference in South Africa. There on the street corner was Harry’s artfully crafted message of “Love Them Both” generated from Life Issues Institute.

I bring up Harry’s life and his service to unborn children for two primary reasons. First, it’s important for those who have a brief history with the pro-life movement to know of his many contributions. Over the past decades, individuals like Harry have unselfishly given of their time and talents to end abortion. Many of these heroes have paved the way for your participation and ability to pick up the baton and run with it. They have helped to slowly turn public opinion in favor of protecting the most defenseless among us. Their tireless efforts have changed countless hearts and minds on abortion, and inspired others to join this life-or-death battle.

The pro-life movement has been battling legal abortion for 36 years. If you’re a relative newcomer, let me extend my heartfelt thanks—welcome to the winning team! And always keep in mind that those who have toiled before you—some who have now gone on to eternity—have paid a considerable price to get us where we are today. Our job is to carry on this sacred trust of ensuring that innocent human life is protected from womb to tomb.

Secondly, Harry Reisiger and many other individuals throughout the pro-life movement have been living testimonies that one person really does make a difference. You may be that person. There may be others you know, who by their talents and professions, are uniquely equipped to help further the cause for life.

During these dark years of a pro-abortion president, now would be a good time to take a look around you—armed with a creative viewpoint—to see who could provide added talents and momentum to our collective efforts.

In the nearly 34 years that I have been in the pro-life movement, I’ve had the honor and privilege to work side-by-side with the very best people humanity has to offer. But our battle is far from over. Don’t be discouraged by the immediate challenges ahead. Pro-life education has the power to change the way our nation views the sanctity of innocent human life. Now, more than ever, God calls upon us to give Him our very best, trusting that He will sustain our efforts. And in the process, we honor Harry’s memory.

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