Tag Archives: Paul Wdowicki

Fire Protection District hosts memorial, open house to honor 9-11 fallen

Photo: Paul Wdowicki, a retired fireman, sits looking at a memorial garden in his front yard in Elburn, planted to honor fallen firefighters from the 9-11 attacks. The garden’s perennials bloom through fall. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Elburn—The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 will be commemorated with a special open house on Sunday, Sept. 11, by the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District.

The ceremony will take place at Station 1 at 210 E. North St. and begin at 8:45 a.m., about the time American Airlines Flight 11 struck World Trade Center Tower 1 in New York.

“The honor guard will do a flag raising ceremony, and then we’ll read the names of the 343 firefighters who died,” Assistant Fire Chief Tate Haley said.

Following the ceremony, which should end around 10:30 a.m., there will be an open house until 4 p.m. at the fire station with an equipment display, activities and goodies such as hats, badges and coloring books for kids, as well as food and beverages.

Haley said the public is invited to visit a memorial garden at 7:30 a.m. at the home of Paul Wdowicki at 405 N. Second St. Firemen from Stations 1 and 2 will walk to the garden to pay respects to the fallen firefighters of 9-11. Wdowicki is a retired fireman and moved the garden from his Des Plaines home when he came to Elburn about nine years ago.

“It’s a brotherhood,” he said. “When you’re a fireman, all firemen are your brothers.”

Wdowicki has a bench by the garden “for anybody that wants to just stop and sit.” He said the perennial garden blooms all season and attracts lots of butterflies and hummingbirds.

“It’s something we should never forget,” Wdowicki said of the attacks.

There will also be an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Station 2, located at 39W950 Hughes Road, with similar activities for children and a light lunch.

Letter: Thank you for taking part in the 9/11 ceremony

This is a letter of thanks to the Elburn Fire Department, their Explorer Troop, the Elburn Herald, and the team that put together the ceremony on Sept. 10, 2010, at the Garden of Memories, dedicated to all the firefighters who have made the supreme sacrifice and the heroes of 9-11-01 and all our brothers in blue.

My special thank you to the advisors and the Explorers: Chief Callahan, Capt. Brian Schopp, Dan Campbell, Bob Stevens, Scott Sulak, Travis McKelvia, Jeremy Jorgenson, Luke Hesik, J.J. Yami, John Cherry, Cody Schaken, Derek Larson, Jason Birschback, Chris Garon and Nichole Callahan.

Also, a thank you to the Wasco Nursery for their generous donation of mulch; and thank you, Martha Quetsch, for your terrific article.

The garden is open to the public. It is a beautiful place to sit and meditate, to watch the butterflies and birds, to reflect and say a prayer to our fallen heroes.

Paul Wdowicki

Ceremony for 9-11 in Elburn

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Paul Wdowicki will host his eighth annual 9-11 remembrance ceremony on Friday in his garden at 405 N. Second St., Elburn. He hopes for a strong turnout for the event this year.

The public ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Sept. 10, the day before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Wdowicki plants his Garden of Memories every year in honor of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including firefighters. Wdowicki was a volunteer firefighter for Glenview Rural Fire Department for 18 years.

Because of recent medical problems, Wdowicki has not been able to care for the garden as much as he would like and was not sure he could host the ceremony again this year. He decided to go ahead with the event, however, after local Explorer Scouts from the Elburn & Countryside Fire Department offered to weed and trim the garden earlier this week.

The Scouts, along with Elburn firefighters, will be on hand for the ceremony on Friday, during which they will raise two flags in the garden and then lower them to half-mast. Wdowicki’s flags were custom-made and include a depiction of the New York skyline when the Twin Towers still stood.

The event also will feature a blessing by the Elburn & Countryside Fire Department chaplain.

Last year, a few neighbors were at the remembrance ceremony, but Wdowicki said everyone in the community is welcome.

“I really hope more people attend this year,” he said.