North Carolina Stories

Joseph Bonczek, Southport

(Nominated by Mary Ellen Bonczek)
Southport Baptist Church Christian Ministry Center
July 4, 2011

My husband, Joe Bonczek, retired from the Port Authority of NY and NJ (PANYNJ) in July of 2002 after 30 years of service. He was there when the World Trade Center (WTC) was being built, and over the years came to know its inner workings and knew the different ways up, down and around the towers. On 9/11 Joe was in the sublevels of the WTC when the first plane hit. While leading his crew up to ground level, he stopped to help a team member who had just returned from medical leave and was unable to move quickly. He was assisting him out and away from the building when the second plane hit. His life was spared that day because he stopped to aid his co-worker. Anticipating Joe’s retirement after 30 years of service, we had sold our home and I had already moved to accept a position at New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC). His phone call 5 hours later was the miracle I had prayed for. After he moved to the area he immediately became involved in the community, as a volunteer of NHRMC and the current chairman of the Coastal Classic Golf Tournament raising funds for the community through NHRMC.  Through the Pine Valley Country Club (PVCC) he coordinated a United Way Golf Event that was most successful. Joe continues to give back to his new community that he now calls home. Having the opportunity to be part of The National 911 Flag journey would help bring him peace and would be an incredible honor to his friends and others’ family and friends who were lost that day.