We talk a lot about heroes, almost always in the wrong context.
A Hero is defined as:
A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage.
People who hit balls or throw touchdowns are not heroes. They're athletes.
The members of our armed forces are heroes. The Firemen and police officers who ran into the World Trade Centers on 9/11 are heroes.
And so is a young Assistant Dade Public Defender who left his comfortable life and safe job at the Public Defenders Office and joined the CIA and was trained as an agent. His name is Gregg Wenzel and he was killed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 9, 2003, ten years ago next week.
Gregg Wenzel was 33 years old when he died.
When you go to the CIA there is a Memorial Wall. The wall currently has 103 stars. Each star represents the identity of a CIA agent killed in the line of duty. 77 of the 103 Stars have a name associated with the star in the book or honor next to the wall. The rest of the stars have no name next to the star, indicating that the agent still cannot be identified for security reasons.
On June 1, 2009, the CIA placed Gregg's name next to a star.
Brian Tannebaum is having a get together at his office at 5:30 PM on July 9th to honor his friend Gregg Wenzel. You should try to attend, even if you didn't know Gregg Wenzel. The information is below.
And in our humble opinion, you should do one more thing in remembering and honoring Gregg Wenzel. Enjoy your life. Stop complaining about not finding a parking space close to court. Stop complaining about waiting in line to get into the building. Stop complaining about the 1001 thing that bother all of us every day. Because those small problems that make up a part of our life, are problems Gregg Wenzel will never have. Gregg Wenzel died doing a job that allows us to live these simple, safe lives. Lives that allow us to complain about nonsense that really doesn't matter. So honor Gregg Wenzel, and enjoy your life a lot more, and that will, in some small measure, make his death not in vain.
And in our humble opinion, maybe the Dade Public Defenders could do something to honor the hero who left their office and died for his country. The Miami Chapter of the FACDL already gives out an award in honor of Gregg Wenzel. But since Gregg was a PD and damn proud of it, maybe it's time the PD office shows that it's damn proud of one of their own.