Eight years ago this morning, when the alarms began to ring out at fire stations across New York City, Lt. Glenn Wilkinson of Engine Company 238 was one of the thousands of firefighters to answer the call. The 46-year-old married father of three and his crew rolled out of their Brooklyn station for lower Manhattan that awful morning, racing toward the disaster. Lt. Wilkinson would not come back. He died in the collapse of Tower Two that morning, after returning to the building to look for one of his men.
neo-neocon wrote a wonderful tribute to Lt. Wilkinson three years ago that you can find here(link updated 9/2011). Please take a moment to read the entire essay. The link to the Newsday article she references appears to be broken now, but I think this is the same one(new Newsday link, 9/2011). I will second her in saying that Glenn Wilkinson was a devoted family man and firefighter. Reading through all of these tributes from family, friends, and strangers deeply moved me and just made me more certain of that. What a terrible loss.
There were 343 firefighters among the 2,996 that we lost that day. A staggering number inside another staggering number. Lt. Wilkinson and all of those firefighters died trying to save the thousands trapped and in need of help, true heroes all.
I spent hours searching for more about Lt. Wilkinson, but found little beyond the links above. That is more than enough though, to paint a clear picture of a man who loved his family and many friends, and was loved in return. A man who didn't turn away when duty called, but raced toward it. Eight years on, he and his sacrifice is not forgotten by those family members and friends, nor is it forgotten by the rest of America.
Rest in peace, Lt Glenn Wilkinson. May God's mercy and peace grace you and all of those whose hearts ache from your loss.
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