2003-09-19 / Community

Merchant Marine: ‘We Sail In Memory Of Charlie’

By Howard Schwach
Merchant Marine: ‘We Sail In Memory Of Charlie’ By Howard Schwach


The USNS Supply, a merchant marine ship sailing with the USS George Washington battle group in the Middle East has presented an American Flag to Bernie Heeran, the proprietor of the Harbor Light Restaurant on Beach 130 Street and Newport Avenue, in memory of his son, Charlie, who was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The flag, which was presented by Third Officer Victor Martino, was signed by Admiral Sestak, the commander of the battle group. Upon signing the flag, he reportedly announced, "We sail in memory of Charlie."

The USS Washington was the carrier assigned to protect New York City after the September 11, 2001 attack and, in fact, appeared on the front page of The Wave the following week.

The flag was awarded at a Father and Son Communion Breakfast at St. Francis de Sales Church on September 13. The breakfast was hosted by
the Charles F. Herran Foundation, an organization set up by the elder Heeran to honor his son and to "help any parish family, particularly widows and orphans, in their time of need."

Present at the breakfast were fourteen relatives of Rockaway residents who perished on September 11. Among them were: Al Whelan, father of Firefighter Eugene Whalen; Walter Moran, father of Chief John Moran; James Boyle, father of Firefighter Michael Boyle; Edward Andrews, father of Firefighter Michael Andrews; Edward Stackpole, father of Captain Timothy Stackpole; Donald Green, son-in-law of Chris O’Grady; Thomas Lawler, father of Christopher Lawler (who died in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587); Richard Allen, father of Firefighter Richie Allen; Thomas Faragher, brother-in-law of Captain Walter Hynes; James Riches, father of Firefighter James Riches; John Burke, father of Matthew Burke; Thomas Mulligan, father of Peter Mulligan Frank Coughlin, father of Tim Coughlin and Bernard Heeran, father of Charles F. Heeran.

The breakfast honored a number of Rockaway residents who died at the World Trade Center atack in 2001, in addition to those whose relatives attended the affair.

Among those honored during the breakfast and the reception that followed at Harbor Light Restaurant on Beach 130 Street were: Lisa King-Johnson, Frank (Mondo) Monahan, Chief John Moran, Peter Mulligan, FF Steve Russell, FF Danny Suhr, Capt. Timothy Stackpole, FF Eugene Whalen, FF Richard Allen, Michael Andrews, FF Steve (Bells) Belson, Matthew Burke and FF Kevin Dowdell.

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