February 29, 2024

Charity

Ground Zero Tribute

Holland & Knight's bronze memorial honors fallen heroes of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Cynthia Barnett | 8/1/2006

The only major memorial at ground zero

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when two hijacked airplanes hit the World Trade Center, Glenn J. Winuk, a partner in the New York office of Holland & Knight, helped evacuate his own building, then ran across the street to the burning towers to help victims trapped inside. Winuk, a volunteer firefighter and EMT, died that morning, as did 343 members of the New York City Fire Department.

In the wake of 9/11, H&K's New York office, a block from ground zero at 195 Broadway, began collecting money to help in the recovery effort -- at first to pay for tons of ice each day to soothe workers' eyes. When the ice was no longer needed and H&K lawyers asked fire officials what else they could fund, the answer was at once simple and monumental: A permanent tribute to the firefighters who perished that day.

Thus began the largest charitable campaign in H&K's history. Lawyers, staffers and clients from H&K offices in New York, Florida and elsewhere raised $750,000 for an enormous, solid bronze memorial across Liberty Street from the WTC site. In June, four years after the fire department ended its recovery operations at ground zero, city fire officials and H&K executives unveiled the 56-foot-long, 6- foot-high bas-relief sculpture. New York media accounts of the event all pointed out that it is the only major memorial at ground zero. Plans for an official memorial at the 16-acre WTC site have been mired in controversy among government officials, victims' families and designers.

H&K's bronze wall is believed to be the largest bas-relief sculpture in North America. It's located on the side of "10 House," the home of Engine Company 10 and Ladder Company 10 that is a popular stop for visitors who come to pay their respects at the WTC site. The sculpture depicts the towers in flames and heroic firefighter scenes. It lists every member of the NYFD who died on 9/11, as well as Winuk, along with a timeline of major milestones regarding the attacks, rescue and recovery.

Its upper inscription reads, "Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on -- May we never forget."

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law

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