Compassionate Friends

Dad marks 10th anniversary of son’s death, former RHS student Ezra Hogg

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

Over 10 years ago on September 11, 2001 almost everyone can recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news of the terrorist attack on America. On December 10, 2001, John Hogg remembers where he was at and what he was doing when he was informed that his son, Ezra Hogg, was killed during a traffic accident on his way to school that day. The tragic events of 9/11 changed America forever; the death of John’s son changed his life forever. Ezra was 17 years old when he died. He was senior in high school, a member of the National Honor Society, an Eagle Scout, lifeguard, and played hockey and rugby. He died five days before John’s birthday, 11 days before Ezra’s 18th birthday, and 15 days before Christmas. John was emotionally, physically and spiritually devastated. “The outpouring of support from family and friends was critical during those first few weeks after he died,” stated John. Later, two scholarships were established in Ezra’s memory, and a staff cabin at Gerber Scout camp in Michigan where Ezra worked during the summer was named in his memory. A group called Compassionate Friends, which helps parents who have lost a child, also provided much needed emotional support. Despite all the initial support, as time passed John continued to struggle with his son’s death. As the months passed, John read in the Bible that when men had powerful life-changing experiences, it was usually on top of a mountain or in the wilderness. Moses on Mount Sinai, Elijah on Mount Carmel, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, Peter, John and Andrew on the Mount of Transfiguration‑all had life-changing experiences. John decided he was going to the mountains and wilderness to find healing. He set a goal to summit the highest point in all 50 states in memory of his son. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ezra’s death. John has successfully reached the highest point of 48 states in the last 10 years. From the very beginning it has been a spiritual journey to come to terms with the grief of losing his son. The first state’s high point John achieved was Michigan. It is here he learned a valuable lesson about how […]