Wengerchukoleh 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, theOleh 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.**

27 thoughts on “Remembering

  1. Eric says:

    Yours is a touching tribute. I wouldn’t have imagined how grateful I would be to get to know these 2996 souls as individuals. Oleh you are not just a number; you are now a member of our family lost way too soon.
    My memorial to Joseph Lostrangio is up on my blog if you wish to drop by.

  2. Mom2fur says:

    Doesn’t he look like the nicest man? It never fails to amaze me when I stop and think how all those people started out what they thought would be just another ordinary day in their lives. They were minding their own business, just doing what they had to do…and then the planes struck. Rest in peace, Oleh.

  3. HeatherW says:

    I went to the website and I really recommend it to everyone. It’s nice to see such an organized effort to honor the memory of those lost. Thanks Shannon for reminding us! And Oleh sounds like a man really worth remembering.

  4. eph2810 says:

    Thank you for sharing in the this wonderful tribute to Oleh.
    Tragic events like 9/11 make us realize that life is precious and that we should let our loved ones know how much we care for them, like Oleh did the weekend before his death.

  5. Diane says:

    What a beautiful tribute to an outstanding life! Isn’t being part of the 2996 tribute just a blessing?! I was moved so by researching and discovering who Sgt. Michael Curtin was…and now am deeply touched by reading the other tributes. I just pray that these families will be encouraged by these tributes….and know that we will not forget…their very personal loss.

  6. Max says:

    This is so well-written, you really captured Oleh’s gentle spirit. Thank you for sharing his life with us.
    I remember Lt. Charles William Garbarini on my site.

  7. hogphan says:

    Very nice tribute. It speaks volumes about the difference between our culture and that of those who killed all these innocent people that here we are, 5 years later, remembering the lives of these victims while those who killed them are still plotting how to kill more innocent people.

  8. V says:

    I only met Oleh a few times, and years ago. But, I know his family well. His absence leaves a large hole in a lovely family. He is deeply missed.

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