Our own FDNY heroes, Engine Company 205 / Ladder Company 118 “Fire Under the Bridge”, lost 8 men on 9/11/01 including 6 who died together in their firetruck under the rubble.
Many residents have mentioned Firefighter Vernon Cherry, who was known to sing outside the Middagh Street firehouse.
In the month after the attacks, the New York Times ran obituaries of those we lost. Mr. Cherry’s read as follows:
It is the singing, more than anything else, that keeps Vernon Cherry so vivid in their minds. A Brooklyn firefighter who moonlighted as a wedding singer, Mr. Cherry, 49, sang it all and he sang it everywhere: Barry White in the firehouse, Frank Sinatra at weddings, the national anthem at Fire Department promotion ceremonies.
“He would just sing,” said Raymond Thomas, a firefighter who worked with him for 11 years at Ladder Company 118 in Brooklyn Heights. “He would be walking up the stairs, in the locker room, taking a shower. He had such a beautiful voice. I used to ask him: `Sing me a song, Vernon. Vernon, sing `Always and Forever.’ He wouldn’t do the whole song, just short bits and pieces.”
Mr. Cherry, a 28-year veteran of the Fire Department, was known at Ladder 118 as “Vernon Mo,” because he called everybody else “Mo.” And there was his lasagna, “Lasagna Mo.”
“He put mushrooms in it,” Mr. Thomas said. “He used every pot in the firehouse. We tried to discourage him from cooking. I mean we loved it, but he had to use every pot in the house.”
Each year, BHB readers have taken a moment to remember Mr. Cherry and our other Brooklyn Heights Heroes:
Godspeed gentlemen, and thank you. We will never forget you.