Following in the Footsteps of his Ancestors: Honorary Consul Lansing G. Hecker Honored
Enlarge image Lansing Hecker and Consul General Onno Hückmann (© Germany.info/chicago) “Having fulfilled his tasks as the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Louis in an exemplary and extremely engaged manner for almost ten years now and having made outstanding efforts in supporting German individuals in emergencies”, said Consul General Hückmann in his speech on June 22, 2012, “it was only fitting” that Lansing G. Hecker be recognized by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany for his service. On that note, Consul General Hückmann presented Mr. Hecker with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the highest distinctions the Federal Republic of Germany can confer upon individuals, whether German or foreign.
Honorary Consul Hecker can proudly see himself as part of a great family tradition. His famous ancestor is Friedrich Karl Hecker, a fervent German democrat, who after the failed 1848 Revolution, emigrated to the United States and became a regarded politician in his new home country. He won great esteem notably for his political, but also for his personal qualities.
Mr. Hecker’s longstanding working career and his profound connection to the city of St. Louis have made connecting with the relevant people in cultural, business and public life possible. He effortlessly cultivated these contacts and used them not only for the bigger purpose of fostering the German American relationship, but also for helping German citizens in emergency situations. One example of this commitment was the way in which he took care of a mentally ill German citizen. Without hesitation, Mr. Hecker drove the man more than 300 miles, from St. Louis to the Consulate General in Chicago, so that further aid could be organized for him.
Enlarge image Lansing and Joan Hecker and Consul General Onno Hückmann (© Germany.info/chicago) Consul General Hückmann also mentioned in his oration an extraordinary example of how Mr. Hecker advocated for the popularity of the German language in schools. When a desperate German teacher from a high school in St. Louis called Mr. Hecker and told him that his school planned to abolish German classes Mr. Hecker, with great spirit and determination, called German language learners to protest and printed T-shirts, glasses and pins for them.
Speaking on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Consul General Hückmann commended Mr. Hecker on his service as a great and dignified representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, who has successfully supported the German Consulate General in Chicago in the preparation and execution of many different kinds of events in the St. Louis area over the years. Furthermore, he said Mr. Hecker led these events with great commitment, dedication and had an impressively practical approach in fulfilling all of his tasks.