If you’re lonely or sad this Christmas because the pandemic has kept you from gathering with loved ones, let Hans Christian Heg cheer you up.
Heg was the Wisconsin abolitionist and Civil War hero whose statue was toppled on the state Capitol grounds last June in Madison. Rioters didn’t seem to know or care about Heg’s noble life when they dismantled his bronze likeness and threw it in Lake Monona.
But Heg, whose statue is being restored and reinstalled, can teach us a lot about the spirit of Christmas and making the most of difficult times.
Heg was colonel of the 15th Wisconsin Infantry, which trained at Camp Randall in Madison before heading south in 1862 to fight for the Union Army. More than 12,000 Wisconsin soldiers — including Heg — gave their lives to help preserve our nation and end slavery.