Oleh D. Wengerchuk was born in Vienna, Austria, on October 4, 1944, as the bombs of WWII fell outside his hospital room. Two-and-a-half months premature, he was not expected to survive. But his courageous mother managed to move Oleh and his brother with her to the U.S. Oleh served in the Vietnam War and eventually completed his degree in Fine Arts, marrying his childhood sweetheart Oksana in 1969. They had a daughter, Andrea, in 1978. He worked as a transportation designer for The Washington Group, on the 91st floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
Oleh was a sensitive, artistic and athletic man who loved his family. According to one website, the weekend before 9/11, he sat outside with his wife at dusk and he kissed her hand. "I just want you to know how much I appreciate everything you do for me," he said. "If one of us has to go first, I hope it’s me because I can’t imagine life without you."
Like nearly 3,000 others, Oleh’s life was cut much too short that awful September morning. But his memory lives on in the Oleh D. Wengerchuk Memorial Foundation, "dedicated to the support and advancement of education for orphaned, underprivileged or handicapped Ukrainian children." (Foundation website can be viewed here). It is a fitting memorial for someone remembered by his family as a man with a warm and generous heart.
You can view the memorials of all 2,996 victims of September 11, 2001 by visiting this website. Let’s remember.
**NOTE: The link to the 2996 project isn’t working at the moment; I’m sure they’ve been inundated with hits all day. Keep trying–hopefully they’ll have it back up before long.**