Renaming of Mount Greenwood post office in honor of firefighter moves forward
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org July 16, 2014 6:48PM
The U.S. Post Office in Chicago's Mount Greenwood community could be named for fallen firefighter Capt. Herbie Johnson if supporters have their way. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 17, 2014 2:11AM
The U.S. House this week approved U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski’s plan to rename Chicago’s Mount Greenwood post office as the Captain Herbert Johnson Memorial Post Office Building.
The post office building is at 3349 W. 111th St. H.R. 3085 now moves on to the Senate.
Capt. Herbert “Herbie” Johnson died Nov. 2, 2012 at the age of 54 while battling flames in the attic of a two-story home in Chicago’s Englewood community.
Soon after, Lipinski, D-3rd, began efforts to have the post office branch named in his honor.
“Capt. Johnson heroically served in the Chicago Fire Department for over 32 years,” Lipinski said. “He learned public service from his family. Three of his brothers are Chicago police officers, a sister is a retired Chicago police officer, and another brother is a Chicago firefighter, so his family knows the dangers of being a first responder. Capt. Johnson served in almost every Chicago neighborhood as a firefighter, but his heart belonged to the Southwest Side.”
Over the years, Johnson taught more than 1,000 recruits as an instructor at the Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Johnson went to New York City to volunteer with the rescue efforts.
He was awarded the Illinois Medal of Honor in 2007, the state’s highest honor for firefighters, for rescuing several children from a burning apartment building.
He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Susan, two sons, Thomas and Michael, and daughter, Laurie.
During a House floor speech, Lipinski said that the outpouring of grief after Johnon’s death demonstrated the impact he had on so many people, according to a press release.
“Naming a postal facility honoring Fire Capt. Johnson is just a small tribute of our appreciation not only for him, but all first responders who bravely put their lives on the line every day for people they don’t even know,” Lipinski said in the release. “This post office naming will insure that Capt. Herbie Johnson, his family, and the sacrifices of all first responders will always be remembered and appreciated, and will hopefully serve as a powerful source of inspiration in the community.”