Resident invites public to memorial
Former firefighter honors memories with 9-11 garden
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURNâ€”Paul Wdowicki of Elburn plants a garden every year in honor of victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., including New York firefighters.
In his garden, he has hosted an annual memorial for these victims, so that local residents do not forget the tragedy.
â€œIt is a remembrance. I want to try to keep the memory of that day alive and not pushed under the rug,â€ Wdowicki said.
The event takes place on Friday, Sept. 11, in his yard at 405 N. Second St. The public is invited to attend the event at 10 a.m., which will feature a blessing by the Elburn & Countryside Fire Department chaplain, and the raising of two flags.
Wdowicki was a volunteer firefighter for Glenview Rural Fire Department for 18 years. He has fond recollections of fighting fires alongside his fellow volunteers, and believes that the 9-11 garden is a good way to keep his memory of them alive, too.
The garden features an array of flowers and other plants, and Wdowicki recently had a second flag pole installed in his yard for the ceremony.
Wdowicki, now retired, was employed as a carpenter for a landscaping company located across the street from the Glenview Rural fire station, when the fire chief walked over. He asked Wdowicki whether he wanted to be a volunteer firefighter.
After giving it some thought, Wdowicki decided to sign on.
â€œAfter all, I would be right there if a fire happened,â€ Wdowocki said.
The department had 2,050 fire calls during the first year Wdowicki served as a volunteer. He found the work satisfying, if not financially rewarding, he said. Volunteers at Glenview Rural in those days each received money for responding to a house fire, $2 for a car-fire call, and $1 for an ambulance call.