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Letter to the Editor: Remembering Home, Lt. Joe

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On September 7th, 2015, I watched my home town of Antioch, IL from 1,100 miles away in Water- ford, CT. What I saw was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.

I grew up in Antioch, and lived there for 18 years, and 20 years in Lake County over time. I have not lived in Illinois in 10 years. Most of the last 19 years I have spent living outside Illinois, but somethings of “home” have never left me. I am still a die hard Cubs fan and bleed Cubbie Blue. I am a fanatic Blackhawks fan; I never miss a game on TV and can regularly be seen in Southeastern CT wearing my No. 19 Toews red Hawks Sweater. And yes, I am a Packer’s fan too. Even through my time away, I still consider Antioch home and it will always hold a special place near and dear to me. The loss of one of our own in such a way had no less impact then if I was still living in Illinois.

To see my hometown and Fox Lake go through what it just did, was not easy to watch, especially from afar. But the outpouring of support and the unity I saw was truly inspiring to watch on TV and through social Media with ACHS right in the middle of it. I watched our towns and school come together to honor and respect one of our own: a Sequoit.

There is one sure way to tell who a hero is… They are the people who do everything they can to get in between danger and the people around them.

I do not personally remember Lt. Gliniewicz, but I know our paths have crossed at some point and have some other common aspects. We were both from Antioch; both graduated from ACHS. He was a Police Explorer advisor for the FLPD during the time I was a Police Explorer with the APD while I attended ACHS. He served in the Army, I serve in the Navy. He was 1 month from retiring from the Fox Lake Police Department; I am 1 year from retiring from the Navy (I just made some teachers feel really old!). But even if our paths never crossed, does not change the respect and loss I have for him at all. He was willing to do things most of us would not. He was willing to serve for the better interest of oth- ers at his own expense. He wrote out a check over 30 years ago, written “Payable to: the People of the United States; Cost: Up to and including my life”. A person could not be willing to give more to his community and perfect strangers.

The term “hero” is thrown around way too much in my opinion, because what is a hero? There is one sure way to tell who a hero is, it is not the Quarterback throwing a game winning touchdown, it is a not an actress standing in front of a camera. You can only tell

who they are when danger is around. When everyone else is running from danger, they are running to it. When everyone else is fleeing a burning building, they are running into it. When people are standing on their roofs or at their front door looking and crying for help, they are the help. They are the people who do everything they can to get in between danger and the people around them. The last thing Lt. Gliniewicz did before taking the hand of God to His Kingdom, was to run after the danger so none of would have to. He IS a true hometown hero. That check he wrote out over 30 years ago, has now been cashed, paid out in full, and the honor you all gave him was nothing less than inspiring and deserving of what he gave. It made me proud of my hometown and High School to see how you all came out and supported and honored one of our own.

I just want to say this to Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, you sir are relieved of the watch. We have the watch now, your job is done and was completed exceptionally. You can go rest in Peace now, and God Speed. And to all you Sequoits and all others from our home towns, thank you for showing America how to treat a hero who was one of our own.

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Letter to the Editor: Remembering Home, Lt. Joe