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Hart family marks tragic anniversary

By MARTHA HART -- For The Calgary Sun

REMEMBERED ... Martha Hart, with eight-year-old son Oje, and daughter Athena, 4, remember their dad Owen on the one-year anniversary of his tragic death. -- Jack Cusano, Calgary Sun
One year has gone by since that tragic night in Kansas City's Kemper Arena.

My husband Owen, waiting 10 minutes suspended six stories above a dark arena, trusting who he thought were top expert riggers with his precious life.

Little did he know he was hooked up to a make-shift contraption which included a quick-release snap shackle clip meant for the sole purpose of rigging sail boats.

Then it happened. The hook that was practically the equivalent of a paper clip released and Owen fell.

As he lay dying in the ring, he struggled for his last breaths, trying so hard just to live -- to live for me and our children. And after he lost his fight for life they just scooped him up and ordered the next match out.

Where's the humanity? Would he have wanted the show to go on? Absolutely not.

These vivid images are what haunt me every day.

The WWF might want to take care of me and my children but the bottom line is they didn't take care of Owen.

When I think of Owen and the life we shared I smile.

All my memories of him are happy ones. I think of him often and we miss him dearly.

Owen was a man of many faces but I knew the true Owen, so much so we were almost clairvoyant and that was why I felt I had to do the eulogy at his funeral. I felt I was the only one who really knew him, so believe me when I say I would know exactly what he would and wouldn't want.

Owen was truly the kindest person I ever knew. He treated everyone equally, with dignity and respect.

In the bigger scheme of things, when someone is at the end of their life, what could be more important than knowing you were the nicest person you could be and that was what he was. He lived his life well. He was always true to himself.

The way he conducted his life was admirable and he deserves to be remembered. However, the question is, in what capacity?

Owen was a great wrestler and he would want to be noted for that. But this was not his most redeeming quality. He certainly would not want to be remembered in some wrestling tribute show. I guarantee that.

I would hope people would remember him the way my children -- Oje and Athena -- and I remember him, as a wonderful human being who just happened to wrestle.

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