It’s been a very sad day for Ginny and me. We attended the memorial service for Paula Hartze at the North Dakota School for the Deaf in Devils Lake today. I wasn’t there as a reporter, but rather as a family member. Paula was Ginny’s cousin.
The school’s students and staff tied pink ribbons on a row of trees outside the school. Paula’s favorite color was pink. They also framed her usual parking spot in pink ribbons.
Paula’s father, Lee, wore a tie she gave him with the sign language symbol for "I Love you" on it. North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Wayne Sanstead wore a similar tie.
Friends and students gave tributes, many of them in sign language. It was heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time.
Silent Expressions, the school’s "choir," signed "Farewell to You." I doubt there was a dry eye in the house.
Thanks to Dennis Fogelson and the staff of the School for the Deaf for hosting the memorial service. It was perfect. We will never forget it.
We have a thousand questions about Paula’s death. But, for today, they will have to wait.