Schaumburg fire captain's life has changed since volunteering in New York City after 9/11

  • Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall.

      Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall.

      Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall.

      Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Members of the Hoffman Estates police and fire department honor guards make their entrance during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall.

      Members of the Hoffman Estates police and fire department honor guards make their entrance during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall.

      Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod speaks during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Audience members listen to the keynote speaker, Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall.

      Audience members listen to the keynote speaker, Schaumburg fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the long-distance responders after Sept. 11, during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday at the Hoffman Estates village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/11/2019 9:11 PM

Schaumburg Fire Capt. John Schneidwind, who was among the first responders who traveled to New York in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, was the keynote speaker Wednesday at an annual remembrance ceremony in Hoffman Estates.

Schneidwind, who regularly attends the event, has commented on how the passage of time has changed his perspective on his five days in New York that left him emotionally and physically drained but deeply proud of his profession.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

On the personal front, 18 years have transformed Schnedwind from the father of two young children to the grandfather he is today.

His volunteering for the trip started with his being asked to work his supervisor's shifts in Schaumburg so that the supervisor could go to New York. Schneidwind instead asked whether there was room for him to go along.

Though people on the streets of New York would enthusiastically thank the volunteers, and clergy members would ask them how they were feeling, everyone always responded that they were OK even though they weren't, Schneidwind has said.

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