SERVICE CELEBRATES BRAVEST HERO


By GEORGETT ROBERTS and ADAM MILLER

June 23, 2002 --

Hero 9/11 firefighter Vernon Cherry yesterday was laid to rest beside two fallen brethren after a funeral in which he was remembered as a "beautiful person" who lived for his family, the department and making sweet music.

Mourners filled the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brooklyn Heights to bid a somber farewell to Cherry, 49, a married father of three and 18-year FDNY veteran assigned to nearby Ladder Co. 118 who moonlighted as a wedding singer.

"Vernon's rhythm was his family," the Rev. Michael Carrano said. "The melody of his life was his music and the harmony of his life was being a firefighter."

Mourners burst into tears when a song Vernon and fallen colleague Leon Smith recorded for a terminally ill child just weeks before Sept. 11 was played.

Cherry's distraught aunt, Marjorie Lander, said her nephew, who performed at FDNY ********* ceremonies, had an incredible zest for life.

"I miss him with all my heart," she said.

"He was a beautiful person."

The victim's nephew, Ronald Cherry, said he'll always remember his uncle's infectious "smile, big hugs and bubbly personality."




http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/50886.htm