Talk about making memories! My younger son is in the middle of the adventure of his life. As a Coast Guard diver, he is onboard the Polar Star which has made its way to McMurdo Station in the Antarctic. He recently shared this picture of his ship and a denizen of the region that has come out to greet it.

Reminds me of another picture.


This is the shot of Tank Man, a brave citizen who, in 1989 stood in front of the military force sent to crack down on Chinese students who were protesting in Tiananmen Square. The image of a sole unarmed individual putting himself in the way of a massive motorized weapon was seared in my brain, so when I saw this little Emperor penguin framed against the huge Coast Guard cutter, my mind pulled up from its vast recesses the earlier reference. Not that the Coast Guard’s efforts are in any way comparable to the Chinese shut down of its citizens’ protests. It is just that the one image sparked my memory to recall the other.

No one has ever publicly identified the Tank Man nor do we know what became of him. But I did learn something that I did not realize back then. My knowledge of Tank Man was solely based upon the picture illustrated above. What I didn’t remember is the fact that the photo was a screen shot of the video which captured his actions.


Bravery is not the absence of fear. It is being able to act in spite of it. Watching this video gave me new respect for whoever this individual is/was.

Our memories can be easily activated by the simple action of seeing a photo, watching a video, listening to a piece of music… May the memories that are sparked in your mind always be happy ones.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

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