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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 49
Year of Death: 2001

Vernon Paul Cherry

Vernon Paul Cherry‚ 49‚ firefighter‚ FDNY‚ Ladder 118. During his 29 years on the job‚ Cherry made a name for himself. He was an outstanding vocalist who sang at official firefighter functions and joined his band to entertain at social events. Almost 50‚ he was planning to retire at the end of 2001. A father of three‚ he was also a longtime court reporter and well known in the halls of justice. As a black firefighter‚ he helped bridge racial barriers.

He was just a terrific guy.

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. He was a great brother and he is truly missed

    – James Cherry
  2. Today I had the opportunity to do a stair climb in honor of this hero. I carried a tag with me of him as I climbed the 110 stories. I’m a fire fighter in Dekalb County, Georgia.

    Memory Stair Climb 9/10/2016

    May God Bless the Heros

    – Kevin Fleming
  3. Today I climbed to Denver Stair climb and I carried you . I’ve been climbing for the crew of L118 the last few years and I got you. I will never forget . You will alway be remembered each year that I climb and carry you with me

    – Michael Zukowski
  4. Today I had the opportunity to work in your honor at Pierce MFG in Appleton WI. I carried a tag with your picture on it…very emotional day for me . Vernon you will always be with me in my thoughts and prayers…will never forget the sacrifice that you made. God bless us all

    – Keith Martin
  5. Today I had the honor of finishing the climb for this hero in the 9/11 memorial stair climb. I am in my last 2 weeks in the fire academy, and me and my class climbed the 110 stories in honor of the fallen fire fighters who lost there lives that day. It was an honor to be able to wear your tag and ring the bell for you. God Bless your family and may you rest in peace.

    – Nick Robinson
  6. Last year, I had the opportunity to honor this hero by climbing the 21 floors of the Wells Fargo Tower 6 times in my hometown Roanoke, Virginia. I will continue to attend this event every year and carry his tag so everyone will know his legacy. It is an honor to carry his tag and I pray his legacy lives on forever in Heaven.

    – Isaiah Pryor
  7. On 9/9/17 I will be carrying Vernon on my rucksack during the GORUCK 9/11 Light event. Vernon worked in the neighborhood in which I work as a court reporter in the federal courthouse. Vernon was also a court reporter known by many of my coworkers in the court system. I never met him, but I feel I must honor a fallen court reporter and firefighter.

    – Anthony D. Frisolone
  8. Today 9/10/17 I had the honor and privilege to carry your tag 21 floors 5x during the 9/11 stair climb in Richmond,Va. This was my 1st climb and it was truly an event unlike any I have ever experienced. I honor you brother.
    Never Forget your sacrifice.

    Clifton (Cliff) Wood

    – Clifton Wood
  9. I have been honored to carry Vernon Cherry with me for five memorial stair climb events. I had very specific criteria that led me to choose him. I also climb with many other, different fallen firefighters, but each year, I always choose Vernon first. I have enough replicas of his ID tag that I am able to hang one at my desk at work, one hangs from my purse handle, and another hangs in a memorial space that I have in my home. I am always inspired by Vernon and all the other firefighters that continue to “climb” to save lives and provide aid. I climb because they climbed.

    – Kris Collins
  10. I’ve done a stair climb the past 3 years, I wear Mr. Cherrys name in a red band! Every step of that 110 flight climb I think of him! What he went through to help people he’d never met! I will carry his name with me forever!! I imagine he was a great soul! Wish I could have met him!!

    – Carrie
  11. I love you so much , and miss you I can’t believe I saw you Monday wot my dad ya bro and Tuesday you went to work and never came back to are hero in everyone’s eyes and I’m proud to be a cherry..telll my dad I love him and ryan

    – Janine cherry
  12. I carried a dog tag with brother Cherry’s name on my turnout coat for years. Unfortunately the tag was lost in a fire. Though I never met the man I think of brother on every alarm of fire. Rest In Peace sir.

    – Joe Marchetti
  13. Met your granddaughter today, she couldn’t say enough good things about your accomplishment and reputation. Such an interesting and amazing story. Not forgotten, and well respected.

    – Patrick Cassidy
  14. When I walked up to the 9/11 Memorial, the first name I saw was Vernon’s. I told myself when I returned back home the least I can do is get to know who Vernon was. On all accounts Vernon was a tremendous human being, a true unselfish hero.

    – Bart Colucci
  15. I attended a 9/11 memorial stair climb at the Florida State Fire College on 9-11-19 and had the honor and privilege of carrying a photo of Vernon Cherry. I always take the time to find out about more information about the brother I carried. We got it from here Brother. RIP

    – Bill Banks
  16. I complete a stair climb in honor of Mr. Cherry. This is my 4th year climbing 1,300 plus stair to remember a man I never got a chance to meet! I get chills thinking of him with every step I take! He pushes me up those stairs! I only wish I could have met him! I can only imagine what a fantastic, selfless man he was! I know his family has to be proud of his sacrifice!

    – Carrie Hicks
  17. I had the honor of carrying Vernon Cherry’s photo on the 9/11/19 University of Arizona stair climb, he and his colleagues are not forgotten.

    – Janet Campion
  18. I carried Vernon Cherry’s tag during the Chattanooga 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and it was an honor. I went home and researched who he was and his accomplishments. I told my son, who is 8 years old, the story of Ladder 118 and Mr. Cherry. The next day my son took the tag to school the next day and told his teacher and class about Mr. Cherry. Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice.

    – Jim Verble
  19. Every year we celebrate you Vernon! My hero! Still very missed.

    – Jennifer Lopez
  20. This is my 5th year wearing Mr. Cherry’s name on my arm as I climb 9 flights up/down just to equal his ONE climb up! I think of him often, not just one 9/11. I wonder what kind of man he was! Knowing he was a remarkable man for paying the ultimate price! I say this every year but it would have been an honor to meet him!!

    – Carrie
  21. Today, I climbed the steps at Bristol Motor Speedway in your honor, with your badge every step of the way. Your heroic and selfless acts will forever live on. Thank you, forever.

    – Miranda C
  22. I had the pleasure of hearing and watching him sing on a rerun episode of Showtime at the Apollo and decided to look him up and was so sad to discover he had passed away on 9/11/01. May he sing with the angels.

    – Shakita L Yancey
  23. SEPTEMBER 2021
    On this the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we HONOR Vernon, a true HERO !! Your firefighter family will never forget you.

    – lisa hopman
  24. I met Vernon in 1988. We were competing in the annual NYCH Talent show. Vernon sang beautifully. He was a very respectful and sweet person. I was a adolescent then and with a 2 year old son. Vernon would play with my son and laugh at his antics. When I heard that he was one of the victims of 911 my heart broke. May he RIP. He will never be forgotten. I still have the tape of his performance. Fly my friend and sing with the Angels.

    – Brighteyes Valentin
  25. 9/9/21 I ran/walked 110 flights of stairs for this hero in Lexington,ky at Kroger Field UK Football Stadium, just wanna let his family and friends know he appreciated and he will never be forgotten Peace & Love

    – Larue Boudreaux
  26. Today I carried a picture of you and ran 3.43 miles in Clayton NC.
    God Bless you and your family.

    – Dave Giacco
  27. Today in Wylie, TX, we went to the 9/11 memorial organized by our local firefighters. They gave out tags for the 412 firefighters, EMTs, and first responders we lost 20 years ago. I was given the tag for this hero… Mr Vernon Cherry. Thank you for your years of service and your ultimate sacrifice. You forever remain in our hearts.

    – Kari Isom
  28. Mr Cherry, I did the stair climb today sir in your honor, took your photo with me, hope I made you proud. Finished the 110 stories for you. Thank you for your service.

    – Kelley
  29. Today I had the great honor of representing Mr. Vernon Cherry, on the 20th anniversary of America’s greatest tragedy. It cannot be put into words how humbling and inspiring it is to be a part of the firefighting tradition and to be able to represent these great hero’s who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 9/11/21

    – Samuel
  30. It was my honor to carry your tag on my back during the Tunnel to Towers 5k across the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Thank you for what you did.

    – John Bosco
  31. Today 2022/September 11 I get the opportunity to carry this Hero badge on my ladder 118 climb in a deployment overseas.
    Thank you for your service Vernon P. Cherry

    – Emanuel Matta
  32. I am an Australian firefighter and it is my honour to wear Vernon’s name on my turnout gear at this year’s Melbourne firefighter stair climb. I would like to acknowledge Vernon’s service and ultimate sacrifice and say thank you.

    – Nick Tschuck
  33. Tena koutou e te whanau.
    I had the pleasure and honour to do a stair climb in Aotearoa New Zealand Sky Tower in Auckland on behalf of Vernon Paul Cherry. Thinking of his Station, Brigade and whanau/family during this time.
    Remembered, respected, never forgotten, hei maumaharatanga.

    Firefighter Memorial Climb 11/09/2023

    – Corey Rees
  34. I just watched the very early film that documented ladder 118 and this great fireman who was 3-6 months short of full retirement. I hope the little grandbaby is doing well and I’m just curious if with all the published video of that day if Vernon or the others were ever located? Good luck 🍀

    – John