Forest Hills honors veteran, activist Thomas X. Winberry
by Lydia Stetson
Jun 12, 2013 | 1014 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian Sluka, Debbie Quinn, Jacquelyn Stewart, Thomas Stewart, Patricia Stewart, Peter Sluka, and Dottie Sluka at the renaming ceremony.
Brian Sluka, Debbie Quinn, Jacquelyn Stewart, Thomas Stewart, Patricia Stewart, Peter Sluka, and Dottie Sluka at the renaming ceremony.
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Family members, veterans and the friends of Thomas Xavier Winberry, a longtime commander of the American Legion Continental Post 1424 in Forest Hills, gathered at the corner of Ascan and Metropolitan avenues on Sunday, June 9, to rename the intersection in his honor.

Winberry passed away on June 29, 2011.

Forest Hills Legion Post chairman Gene Burch first proposed renaming the street in his honor, and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz helped get it passed by the City Council.

“We are gathered today to remember and commemorate the life of admired activist, U.S. veteran, decorated NYPD officer and someone who I had the pleasure of knowing and working with, Thomas X. Winberry,” said Koslowitz in her opening speech.

Other notable speakers at the ceremony included Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, former Assemblyman Michael Callen, Winberry’s wife, Virginia, and others.

“To be perfectly honest, Memorial Day and 9/11 events have not been the same without him,” Hevesi said. “He was a true patriot and hero of our community.”

Winberry won many awards in his life, including the NYPD Medal of Honor for saving a drowning swimmer in the East River.

“Tom was a doer, Tom was a leader, and Tom was a commander,” said current post commander Tom Long.

Winberry was often the lead organizer of the annual Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade on Metropolitan Avenue and the annual Thanksgiving dinners for the Kidz Care Junior Civic Association.

“He was a really great community person,” said Debbie Quinn, Winberry’s oldest daughter. “He devoted a lot of his energy and time to the community, but he would of done so without any fanfare or recognition. I’m sure he would have been a little embarrassed, but mostly honored.”

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