How do you “remember” someone you never knew? That was the question I asked myself as I thought about signing up for the 2,996 Project. I signed up and decided to figure out the “how” later. I’d read a lot of the profiles done in previous years but was still intimidated…especially after beginning to read about my assigned name…
GLENN J. WINUK
A name, and my memory of 11 September 2001, was what I started out with. “What is a name?” The answer, I am still discovering, is many things. As I began my research I realized I’d been assigned a hero…in the truest sense of the word. A man who ran into the danger.
Mr. Winuk had been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years with the Jericho, New York Fire Department. On that tragic morning of 11 September, Mr. Winuk was in his office at Holland & Knight a block away from the World Trade Center. After helping evacuate his own workplace, his first instinct (a hero’s instinct) was to do what he could to help.
“Glenn was last seen outside the recently evacuated New York office at approximately 9:30 a.m., donning some simple emergency gear — a mask and gloves,” Robert R Feagin, managing partner, and William J. Honan, executive partner, said in a statement.
He had also been involved in the evacuation of the towers after the 1993 bombing.
I thought about a poem that was sent to me after my mother passed away. It is called The Dash. I began to do the same thing I’d done with my mother, making a list of descriptors…words I could almost “see” between the dates…the essence of “who” that is represented in the dash. Reading the Legacy.com Guest Book for Mr. Winuk, the words of people who knew him stood out on the pages.
hero…special…intelligent…sterling example…funny…selfless… kind..caring…
generous…compassionate…hell of a guy…calm…honorable…strength…
Just four days before the 8th anniversary of 9/11 Glenn Winuk has posthumously received the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor.
For Seymour and Elaine Winuk, having their son posthumously recognized with the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor Monday was bittersweet.
Just four days before the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the Winuk family gathered at the Jericho park named after Glenn Winuk to receive the recognition they had long been seeking.
“We’re sorry we lost him,” said Seymour Winuk, 78, of Jericho. “But he’s getting an award that is well deserved for many reasons.”
A 19-year volunteer firefighter for the Jericho Fire Department, Glenn Winuk was hailed Monday for his willingness to put himself in harm’s way to rescue people. He responded to the crash in 1990 of Avianca Flight 52 in Cove Neck and three years later to the bombing of the World Trade Center.
And on Sept. 11, 2001 when the first plane hit the North Tower, Winuk, an attorney in a law firm nearby, helped evacuate the building he was working in, then rushed toward the chaos.
Winuk, 40, died when the South Tower collapsed. Six months later, his remains were found next to those of other would-be rescuers.
“He was always running to help people,” his father said.
Because Winuk had not been an active member of the fire department since 1998, the Department of Justice refused to recognize him as a qualified rescuer who died in the line of duty.
I think it is appropriate to use the paraphrased Gen. Patton quote used every week in the Wednesday Hero posts.
We Should Not Only Mourn The Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived