Justice at last: 9/11 hero EMT Glenn Winuk is finally getting posthumous Medal of ValorEditorial
September 9, 2009
Eight long years have passed since Glenn Winuk died in the collapse of the World Trade Center, and only now has the Justice Department agreed to recognize his heroism with a posthumous Medal of Valor.
Winuk's family had to wait far too long and fight far too hard for the honor, as well as for $250,000 in compensation that was merited by law. But prodded by Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Pete King, the department is at last fulfilling is obligation.
An attorney by profession, Winuk served as an emergency medical technician. After the planes hit, he ran from his law office, medical bag in hand, into the south tower. His body was found in the rubble next to those of city firefighters six months later.
But because Winuk was classified only as an associate member of the Jericho, L.I., volunteer fire department, the Justice Department balked at the death benefits due survivors of public safety officers killed in the line of duty and at the Medal of Valor.
That wrong has now been righted. But the department's protracted resistance sadly illustrates the government's broader failure to do right by Americans who gave their health and lives in the terrorist attack. As the feds finally did in the case of Glenn Winuk, so must they do for all 9/11 heroes, victims and survivors, with proper health care and compensation.